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Pennsylvania: “Good Samaritan” Awarded Benefits Following Injury

July 10, 2015 (1 min read)







An employee who attempts to render aid to another does not, by that action, abandon his or her employment, held a Pennsylvania court. Accordingly, where an employee heard a cry for help, realized that someone was in danger at the bottom of a large concrete pit located some 30 feet from where he was working, and sustained injuries while attempting to render aid, his injuries arose out of and in the course of the employment. The injured employee worked for a pipeline company that had contracted to install a pipeline at a sanitation plant. The worker in the concrete pit worked for the sanitation plant. That worker sustained fatal injuries from methane gas asphyxiation. The pipeline employee fell from a ladder as he attempted to rescue the other worker. The employer contended that the pipeline employee was not acting in furtherance of its business interests and the employee’s compulsion to act as a “Good Samaritan” was not employment-related. The appellate court disagreed, observing that § 601(a)(10) of the Pennsylvania Act provided that if an employee was already acting in the course and scope of the employment, the decision to render emergency care or first aid to another did not remove the employee from the employment. The court also said § 601 could not be read to apply only to those whose job it was to render aid.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to

See Pipeline Sys., Inc. v. Workers’ Comp. Appeal Bd. (Pounds), 2015 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 286 (July 7, 2015) [2015 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 286 (July 7, 2015)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, §§ 27.02, 28.02 [27.02, 28.02]

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.









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