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Pennsylvania: WCJ Erred in Awarding Unreasonable Contest Fees Where Employee Never Proved Disability

May 20, 2020 (1 min read)

Where an injured employee sustained a laceration over the eye -- a condition admitted by the employer -- and later sought reinstatement of his disability benefits, the burden was on the employee to establish his entitlement to benefits based on an actual disability; the disability could not be presumed from the earlier admission by the employer. Accordingly, it was error for the WCJ to award unreasonable contest fees in the case. Not only had the employer contested entitlement to additional payments, it had prevailed in proving the employee did not suffer any actual disability. Its stance in defending the claim could hardly, therefore, be characterized as "unreasonable."

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

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Communication Test Design v. Workers’ Comp. Appeal Bd. (Simpson), 2020 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 275 (Apr. 22, 2020)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 133.03.

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

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see

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