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Job Applicant Was Not Employee Upon Required Medical Screen

In 2006, Kathleen Moberg applied for employment at Twining Village and was told as a condition of employment that she was required to undergo a tuberculin test. After applying, she reported to the facility’s outpatient room for the test. Moberg suffered an adverse reaction to the test and fell to the floor. She sought workers’… Read more

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Bilateral Loss Claims and Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, workers generally must be unable to perform any type of work to receive total disability benefits, which also are referred to as “wage loss benefits.” Once the worker returns to employment, then the employer may petition for a modification or termination of the worker’s total disability benefits. Until recently, there was a question… Read more

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Clairton Steel Plant Explosion Injures at Least Fourteen

An explosion and fire at United States Steel Corp’s Clairton, Pennsylvania, plant — Clairton Coke Works — resulted in the serious injury of at least 14 employees (various sources have stated as few as 14 injuries and as many as 20). Six injured workers, two of them in critical condition, were transported to the burn… Read more

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Court Approves of Insurance Company Spying on Prayer

In a recent workers’ compensation case, the Pennsylvania Superior Court determined that an employer may conduct surveillance of an employee even while the worker prays in a public worship space. The court said that a private investigator who videotaped an employee praying in a public place didn’t violate privacy protections. According to the Legal Intelligencer,… Read more

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Time is Money: Report Workplace Injuries Promptly

The old saying is that time is money. The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board recently proved the adage true when it reversed a grant of an injured worker’s claim for compensation. The reason for the reversal: the injury was reported to the employer past the 120-day deadline for notification. The Case in Question In the… Read more

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Will Franchisers Soon be Required to Extend Benefits to Franchisees?

The franchise industry faces many unanswered questions in the wake of the recent decision in Awuah v. Coverall North America. Though the industry had hoped to be reassured that it could continue to classify independent franchisees as distinct from independent contractors for the purpose of denying benefits to these workers, the case offered no such… Read more

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Workers’ Compensation Utilization Review in Pennsylvania

When a party wants a utilization review under Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law, it seeks an independent determination of whether a medical treatment for a work injury is reasonable or necessary. The typical workers’ compensation utilization review process begins when the insurance carrier or employer receives the bills for an employee’s medical treatment and believes the… Read more

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Pennsylvania Prescription Costs Higher than Most, Study Says.

In a recent study, the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute found that the costs for prescription drugs used to treat injured workers in Pennsylvania were higher than the median cost. The Cambridge, Massachusetts, based research group found that the average payment per claim for prescriptions was $445, which was eight percent greater than the median established… Read more

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Court Finds Sufficient Medical Evidence in Terminating Benefits

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court recently ruled that in workers’ compensation cases, an expert’s opinion could be held valid even if the expert did not personally examine a specific injury the worker suffered. In Stancell v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board, the court affirmed a benefits termination petition after the employer’s medical expert testified regarding the employee’s… Read more