COVID-19 Resource Center

03/22/2022

Attorney Santoro Obtains Two Decisions Denying Claim Petitions

Victor J. Santoro, a partner in the firm’s Philadelphia Office, obtained two recent victories on behalf of Workers’ Compensation clients.

First, Attorney Santoro received a Decision from WCJ dismissing a Claim Petition for lack of Pennsylvania Jurisdiction.  The Claimant, a roofing laborer, was injured in Virginia.  The Claimant had a cervical fusion and alleged ongoing total disability and requested payment for ongoing medical expenses.  Claimant argued that the extra-territorial provisions of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act applied providing for jurisdiction in Pennsylvania to pursue this claim.

Attorney Santoro presented time records and fact witness testimony in opposition to the extra-territorial jurisdictional argument.  He successfully argued that Claimant failed to prove the elements necessary for extra-territorial jurisdiction under Section 305.2 of the Act.  The WCJ ultimately found that the injury occurred in Virginia, the Claimant failed to prove his contract for hire was made in Pennsylvania, and his employment was not principally localized in Pennsylvania.  Thereby, the Judge dismissed the Claim Petition for lack of jurisdiction.  The Claimant did not appeal the Decision.

In the second case, Attorney Santoro received a Decision dismissing a Claim Petition without an award of any benefits to the Claimant.  The Claimant alleged that he was a painting laborer who fell several feet from a ladder and landed on a co-worker.  Claimant alleged injuries to his knee and neck, causing a cervical myelopathy requiring spine surgery with ongoing disability.

Attorney Santoro presented two fact witnesses and a medical expert in defense to the Claim Petition, successfully arguing that despite proof of the incident, there was no credible proof of a causally-related work injury to the knee or neck and related disability.  The WCJ relied heavily upon the medical testimony that showed Claimant had clear pre-existing medical issues with his knee and neck before the incident as the basis for the decision.  The WCJ also found the Claimant not to be credible.  Notably, he denied any prior injuries to these body parts and his testimony contained several inconsistencies in the reported mechanism of injury and the history of his treatment following the fall.  Further, Attorney Santoro obtained records revealing a history of crimen falsi crimes, or crimes of falsehood, which the Judge relied on as an additional basis for his credibility determination.

If you have any questions about either of these matters, please contact Victor Santoro at vsantoro@c-wlaw.com or by phone at (610) 567-0700.