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.

Exclusive Remedy – Must Look at Control of Employee

In Canot v. City of Easton, the Superior Court ruled that, when analyzing whether the exclusivity provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act apply, the overriding factor to consider is "the right to control the performance of the work."

March 2012 Edition
Volume VI
Number 3

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Reasoned Decision – WCJ May Summarize

That’s the holding in Amandeo v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Conagra Foods), in which the Commonwealth Court ruled that a Workers' Compensation Judge may rely upon his or her own observations of a witness when assessing credibility. Further, the WCJ may render a reasoned decision based upon summarized testimony if the reason give constitutes an objective basis explaining why the WCJ did not find a witness credible.

Voluntary Withdraw from Workforce – No Presumption Simply By Collecting A Pension

There is no presumption that a claimant collecting a disability pension has withdrawn from the workforce; rather, it is the employer’s burden to prove that the claimant on a disability pension intends not to return to work. By contrast, where a claimant has accepted a retirement pension, for which he or she has become eligible by reason of age and years of service, there is a presumption that the claimant has withdrawn from the workforce. So ruled the Commonwealth Court in City of Pittsburgh and UPMC Benefit Management Services, Inc. v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Marinack).

When Downcoding, Comply With the Rules, or Pay in Full

The Commonwealth Court, in Liberty Mutual Insurance Company v. Bureau of Workers' Compensation Fee Review Hearing Office (Kepko, D.O., Lindenbaum, D.O. c/o East Coast TMR), held that when an insurer fails to strictly comply with the correct downcoding procedures, an award of actual charges to the providers is proper and does not constitute a penalty.

Joint Liability - Truckers

When assessing a claim implicating joint liability, there must be sufficient evidence to support an employment relationship between the employee and each employer, according to the Commonwealth Court’s holding in American Road Lines v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Royal). Further, the Court said that, in order to determine if an employment relationship is present, the court should consider factors such as if the employee's work directly further the interest of the employer and the indicia of control each entity had over the employee.