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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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Brown v. Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Rev.

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court affirmed an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, which affirmed a referee's order denying unemployment compensation benefits. The Board concluded that Claimant is ineligible for UC benefits under Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law. The petitioner was a nurse but was fired when…

Brown v. Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Rev.
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court affirmed an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, which affirmed a referee’s order denying unemployment compensation benefits. The Board concluded that Claimant is ineligible for UC benefits under Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law. The petitioner was a nurse but was fired when she refused to get a… Continue reading Brown v. Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Rev.

Lynch v. Pa. (Workers Comp. Appeal Bd.)
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court agreed with the Workers’ Compensation Judge and the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board that the petitioner was subject to an Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE) under Act 111, which added Section 306(a.3) of the Workers’ Compensation Act. The Commonwealth Court held that the petitioner’s full salary benefits constituted workers’ compensation benefits necessary to… Continue reading Lynch v. Pa. (Workers Comp. Appeal Bd.)

Dobransky v. EQT
Pennsylvania Superior Court

An en banc panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court determined that Appellees were not immune from liability because they did not qualify as statutory employers under the Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA). This case arose from injuries sustained from Appellant’s exposure to barite at a natural-gas site leased and operated by Defendant EQT. To drill and… Continue reading Dobransky v. EQT

Bark v. Sooner Steel, LLC
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court reversed the Workers’ Compensation Judge’s ruling that Claimant’s injuries were not compensable. Claimant filed a petition seeking total disability benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act for injuries he sustained in a motor vehicle accident (MVA) when Claimant was going home from Employer’s job site. The WCJ found that Claimant’s injuries were not… Continue reading Bark v. Sooner Steel, LLC

Loftus v. Decker
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court quashed an appeal from a workers’ compensation insurer trying to intervene in an action commenced by praecipe for writ of summons. The Court held that the lower court’s order denying intervention was not appealable under Pa.R.A.P. 313(b) because the insurer did not have a legally enforceable interest to file on its… Continue reading Loftus v. Decker

Arlet v. Workers’ Comp. Appeal Bd. (Pa., Dep’t of Labor and Indus., Bureau of Workers’ Comp.)
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court considered as a matter of first impression the limitations of the general equitable prohibition of an insurer seeking subrogation from its insured. Here, an employee in the shipping industry was injured on the job. His employer had an insurance policy for Jones Act protections. The Jones Act is a federal law… Continue reading Arlet v. Workers’ Comp. Appeal Bd. (Pa., Dep’t of Labor and Indus., Bureau of Workers’ Comp.)

Lapsley v. Twp. of Sparta
New Jersey Supreme Court

The New Jersey Supreme Court reversed the Appellate Division and ruled that Lapsley’s injuries were compensable under the Workers’ Compensation Act. Lapsley worked as a librarian at the Sparta Public Library. In February 2014, Lapsley’s husband arrived at the library to drive her home. As they walked from the library to the car through the… Continue reading Lapsley v. Twp. of Sparta

Henderson v. WP Ventures, Inc. (Workers Comp. Appeal Bd.)
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court heard the claimant’s petition for review after a Workers’ Compensation Judge found that the petitioner was “in the course of his employment” when he was injured. The claimant slipped on ice as he was about to take a cigarette break, calling into question the “personal comfort” rule. The WCJ held that… Continue reading Henderson v. WP Ventures, Inc. (Workers Comp. Appeal Bd.)

Sadler v. Philadelphia Coca-Cola (Workers Comp. Appeal Bd.
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

After adverse rulings from a Workers’ Compensation Judge and Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board, a claimant petitioned for review in the Commonwealth Court claiming that his employer should not have been permitted to terminate his workers’ compensation benefits. The Commonwealth Court affirmed, holding (1) Section 204(a) of the Workers’ Compensation Act, which sets forth an offset… Continue reading Sadler v. Philadelphia Coca-Cola (Workers Comp. Appeal Bd.

Lorino v. Workers’ Comp. Appeal Bd.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that the Commonwealth Court misconstrued Section 440 of the Workers’ Compensation Act in precluding an award of attorney’s fees to a claimant when an employer had established a reasonable basis for seeking a termination of benefits. Based on the meaning of the terms “shall” and “may,” under Section 440, when… Continue reading Lorino v. Workers’ Comp. Appeal Bd.