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.

Employer Counsel Must Always Verify the Qualifications of Physicians Who Perform Impairment Rating Evaluations

A physician must have an active clinical practice, i.e., the physician must provide preventive care and the evaluation, treatment and management of medical conditions, at least 20 hours per week, in order to be qualified to perform Impairment Rating Evaluation under Section 306(a.2)(1) of the Workers’ Compensation Act. That’s the ruling of the Commonwealth Court in Verizon Pennsylvania Inc. v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Ketterer).

April 2014 Edition
Volume VIII
Number 4

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Supreme Court Clarifies Statutory Employer Doctrine, Preserves Employer Immunity

In Patton v. Worthington Assocs., Inc., the Pennsylvania Supreme Court clarified and affirmed that statutory employers remain immune from liability in third party claims. Specifically, the Court ruled that in a third party claim against an injured worker’s statutory employer/general contractor, the employer is immune from liability under Section 203 of the Workers’ Compensation Act. In this case, the employee of a subcontractor sought damages from a general contractor that hired plaintiff’s employer. The Court ruled that such claims are barred by the Workers’ Compensation Act. Of note, Justice Baer filed a concurring opinion in which he asserted the concept of the statutory employer is “an irrational relic of a bygone era” that should be eliminated.

Subrogation Claims are Based Upon the State Through Which Workers’ Compensation Benefits Were Paid

The Commonwealth Court, in Young v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Chubb Corp. and Federal Insurance Co.), ruled that when dealing with subrogation claims, a court or Workers’ Compensation Judge should apply the law of the state through which workers’ compensation benefits were paid. Because claimant here was injured in Delaware and received benefits under Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act, Pennsylvania subrogation law applies.