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Workers' Compensation

Pennsylvania: Settlement of Claim Precludes Subsequent Civil Action Against Employer

The execution of a settlement agreement, in which the employee, a residential counselor at a Pennsylvania inpatient psychiatric facility, received a $40,000 lump sum from the employer in connection with injuries the counselor sustained when she was attacked by a resident patient, constituted an admission on the part of the counselor that the incident occurred in the course and scope of her employment, held a state appellate court. Accordingly, she could not thereafter sue the employer in tort on a “personal animus” or “third party attack” theory. The court noted that the mere acceptance of benefits did not constitute an election that would bar a tort action. Here, however, her acceptance of benefits had been far from passive. The court added that even if the counselor’s action against her employer was not barred by estoppel, she had failed to show that she was attacked for purely personal reasons that were not related to her employment.

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 Grabowski v. Carelink Cmty. Support Servs., Inc., 2020 Pa. Super. LEXIS 189 (Mar. 9, 2020)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 127.07.

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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