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.

Employee Retains The Burden Of Proof When The Employer Issues A Notice Of Compensation Denial That Acknowledges An Injury

According to the Commonwealth Court in Morrison v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Rothman Institute), when an employer issues a Notice of Compensation Denial, which acknowledges an injury but disputes disability, the claimant maintains the burden to prove the entitlement to benefits. The Court also ruled that a medical expert's independent medical evaluation is competent when based upon evidence of record, even when part of the evidence is an medical evaluation by an employee given to the medical expert by defense counsel.

April 2011 Edition
Volume V
Number 4

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UR Determinations Generally Do Not Apply To Other Litigation

Neither the payment of medical expenses nor the filing of a utilization review request imposes liability in and of itself on an employer for a specific injury. Thus, pursuant to the Commonwealth Court decision in Securitas Security Services USA, Inc., v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Schuh), the doctrine of collateral estoppel applies only when the critical issues (1) are identical, (2) were actually litigated, (3) were essential to the judgment, and (4) were material to the determination.

Benefits Cannot Automatically Be Suspended Or Terminated For Employees Who Lack Pre-Injury Job Certifications

In University of Pennsylvania v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Hicks), the Commonwealth Court ruled that, when a claimant is unable to perform his or her pre-injury employment, an employer is not entitled to a termination or suspension of benefits based upon the employee's current lack of a certification that would otherwise be necessary to perform the pre-injury job.