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C&W Journal

July 27, 2008

Box 4 Denial Back in Play?

In the wake of the Commonwealth Court’s decision in Jordan v. WCAB (Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc.), the box 4 denial appeared to have seen its last days as an effective instrument for the carrier. However, the Commonwealth Court in Gumm v. WCAB, 942 A.2d 222 (Pa.Cmwlth., 2008.), determined that there are circumstances when a Box 4 denial is still...

May 27, 2008

Commonwealth Court Discusses “Prompt" Requirement For Notice...

The Commonwealth Court clarified the “prompt written notice” requirement regarding a change in a claimant’s medical condition prior to pursing a modification of benefits. “Prompt written notice”...

May 27, 2008

Supreme Court Revisits “Accident” And “Occurrence”

This case addressed whether a homeowner insurer owes liability coverage to the insured parents of their son who shot six people. In affirming the dismissal of the insurer’s coverage action, the...

May 27, 2008

WCJ Allowed To Amend Work Injury On Own Motion

Defendant appealed the Workers' Compensation Judge’s decision denying a termination petition based upon credit medical evidence of an injury beyond that listed on the operative document. The...

May 27, 2008

Regularly Used Non-Owned Vehicle UIM Exclusion Upheld

In Brink, the insured police officer brought an action against his personal automobile insurer to recover underinsured motorist benefits for injuries sustained while the officer was driving a...

May 27, 2008

Bureau Now Requesting LIBC-392A On Some Cases

Although the specifics are not being made public, it appears that the Bureau has quietly started an audit aimed at closing their files on stale cases. In some cases, they are asking adjusters to...

May 27, 2008

A Bad "DIEHL" For Untimely IRE's

In an unexpected and controversial decision, the Commonwealth Court has held that the filing of a Modification Petition, based upon evidence of an impairment rating of less than fifty percent is...

May 27, 2008

Recent Allegheny County Verdicts

• Barlow v. Hamilton – Auto accident Defendant slid on ice into intersection.Plaintiff was partially blinded by sun.Neck, back, and head injuries with $7,000 medical specials.Jury found both...

March 27, 2008

Court Restricts Employer’s Right To Offset

In Maxim Crane Work v. WCAB (Solano), the Commonwealth Court restricted an employer’s right to take an offset against a claimant’s workers’ compensation benefits, based on the claimant’s receipt...

March 27, 2008

Mere Passage Of Time Sufficient For IME

In Linda Davis v. WCAB (Woolworth Corporation), the Commonwealth Court addressed the issue of whether the “mere passage of time” constituted sufficient grounds to require a claimant to submit to...

March 27, 2008

Good Faith Defense In Dram Shop Cases

The Pennsylvania Dram Shop Act holds that it is negligence per se to serve a minor with alcohol. However, under Section 495 of the Act, no penalty shall be imposed on the bar if it establishes...

March 27, 2008

Spoliation Of Evidence In Fire Cases

In Schroeder v. DOT, 710 A.2d 23 (Pa. 1998), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court adopted the spoliation of evidence standards set forth in Schmid v. Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation, 13 F.3d 76 (3rd...

March 27, 2008

Impairment Rating Evaluation Impact On Modification And Termination...

In Sign Innovation v. WCAB (Ayers), the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court addressed the impact of an Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE) on the Employer’s attempt to modify a Claimant’s benefits...

March 27, 2008

The Importance Of Timely Payments Of Settlement Proceeds

A recent Commonwealth Court case upheld an award of a 5% penalty for the Defendant/Employer’s failure to timely pay an Order approving a Compromise and Release Agreement. Although the facts of the...

February 27, 2008

Attack On URO Application Limitation Fails

The Commonwealth Court rejected the employer’s proposed twist on the Bucks County decision holding that a utilization review determination that treatment is not reasonable and necessary cannot be...

February 27, 2008

Medical Expert Must Recognize Formal Injury Description

In Denise Elberson v. WCAB (Elwyn, Inc.), the Commonwealth Court held that an employer’s medical expert witness must first recognize the full and complete description of the work injuries accepted...

February 27, 2008

Failure To Secure New UIM/UM Form May Give Rise To Coverage

The Supreme Court addressed the issue of whether auto insurers are required to secure new UI/UM forms on “after acquired vehicles”. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court had held that new forms...

February 27, 2008

Employer Must Specifically Preserve Right To Supersedeas Fund...

In the matter of Bureau of Workers’ Compensation v. WCAB (U.S. Food Services), the issue before the Commonwealth Court was whether, after the parties entered into a Compromise and Release...

February 27, 2008

No Stacking Of Fleet Policies

This case addressed the issue of whether auto accident claimants may stack UIM/UM coverage under commercial fleet auto policies. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania unanimously affirmed the Superior...

February 27, 2008

Court Continues To Liberally Construe Course Of Employment

The Commonwealth Court continues to liberally construe what actions off the employer’s premises fall within an employee's course of employment. Here, the Court affirmed the granting of a fatal...

February 27, 2008

Bad Faith Claims Subject To Two Year Statute

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Ash held that causes of action brought under the Pennsylvania bad faith insurance statute, 42 Pa.C.S. 8371, sound primarily in tort. As such, the two-year Statute...

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