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.

Credibility Determinations Remain the WCJ’s Exclusive Province

A party many not challenge or second-guess a Workers' Compensation Judge's credibility determinations under Section 422(a) of the Act, 77 P.S. § 834. Thus, in Hershgordon v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Pepboys), the Commonwealth Court affirmed that an appellate court may not reweigh evidence or substitute its judgment based upon a party's disagreement with a Worker's Compensation Judge's findings and credibility determinations.

March 2011 Edition
Volume V
Number 3

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When an Employee Acts Stupidly, It May Take a Case Out of the Scope of Employment

That's the essence of the Commonwealth Court’s holding in Penn State University v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Smith), in which the Court ruled that a claimant was not in furtherance of the employer's business or affairs, and therefore not entitled to workers' compensation benefits, for injuries that occurred when he jumped down a flight of stairs after leaving the dorm he was cleaning to take a one-half (1/2) hour unpaid lunch leave at an on-campus dining facility where the claimant had an employer-sponsored meal plan. This decision appears to focus more on claimant's stupidity and may be distinguishable from cases holding that employees injured in similar situations (i.e., taking a break while remaining on an employer's premises) are entitled to benefits under the Act.