Workers' Comp In-Cites
Welcome to the latest edition of Schaff & Young's Workers' Comp In-Cites. Designed to provide our clients with practical insight, Workers' Comp In-Cites outlines recent developments in Pennsylvania workers' compensation law and explains how those decisions impact our clients and their cases. Barbara Young, Michael Schaff and the other attorneys at Schaff & Young, P.C. are always available to discuss these cases – or any other questions or concerns you might have. Just give us a call at (215) 988-0090 or send an email to We look forward to hearing from you.

Do a Labor Market In the Area Most Advantageous to the Employer

In Riddle v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Allegheny City Electric, Inc.), the Commonwealth Court ruled that an employer could conduct a labor market survey and establish job availability in the area where claimant lived, even if it is out-of-state, rather than doing so for the location of the injury. Thus, if the economic conditions are better in one place than another, it behooves the employer to select that location.

February 2008 Edition
Volume II
Number 2

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Regardless Why Claimant Receives Social Security Old Age Benefits, There is an Offset

An employer is entitled to offset a claimant’s workers’ compensation benefits with Social Security old age benefits even if the claimant received the old age benefits because his Social Security disability benefits were automatically transferred from disability to old age benefits. That is the holding of the Commonwealth Court in Ropoch v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board ( Commonwealth of Pennsylvania/Department of Public Welfare).

Horseplay Injuries are Generally Compensable

Although an employer may prohibit horseplay in its workplace, in Sysco Food Services of Philadelphia v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Sebastiano), the Commonwealth Court ruled that violation of such a rule is not a per se violation of an employer’s work rules that precludes the receipt of workers’ compensation benefits.

Be Careful How Your Doctor Testifies

If a doctor testifies that he or she does not recognize the work-relatedness of an injury previously determined to be work-related, then any subsequent testimony to support a termination petition is fatally flawed. By denying a termination petition based on injuries not accepted in the Notice of Compensation Payable, a Workers’ Compensation Judge implicitly amends the NCP to include these injuries. Those were the Commonwealth Court’s holdings in Westmoreland Country v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Fuller).

Personal Animus Must Be Personal

In M & B Inn Partners, Inc. v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Petriga), the Commonwealth Court ruled that the personal animus exception only applies when the assailant intends to inflict injury on the claimant for personal reasons.