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On the Pulse…Marshall Dennehey Is Happy to Celebrate Our Recent Appellate Victories*

September 1, 2016

Audrey Copeland (King of Prusia, PA) secured a decision from the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania in favor of the employer in a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation matter. The court affirmed the denial of a claim petition and the grant of a termination petition. The claimant alleged exposure to hazardous dust in the workplace and other injuries. The court rejected the claimant’s assertion that the Workers’ Compensation Judge failed to make essential credibility findings or analyze expert medical witnesses testimony. It could reasonably be inferred that the judge rejected the testimony of the claimant’s family physician because the judge rejected the opinion of the claimant’s occupational medicine expert upon whom the family physician had relied. There was also no error in omitting a credibility determination as to the employer’s expert, a pulmonologist, because the claimant bore the burden of proof on his claim and the employer’s expert’s opinion was that the claimant did not suffer from occupational asthma. Wolfe v. WCAB (Ervin Industries, Inc.), 2016 Pa.Commw.Unpub.LEXIS 278 (Pa.Commw., April 18, 2016).

In a second workers’ compensation appeal before the Commonwealth Court, Audrey convinced the court to affirm the Workers’ Compensation Judge’s grant of a claim petition for a closed period only. The court held that the judge did not err in precluding the claimant from submitting the deposition of her rebuttal physician, which was scheduled for eight days after the final hearing. The judge had the discretion to control her docket and determined that this would have unreasonably delayed disposition of the case. The court cited Section 131.63(c) of the Judge’s Rules, noting that the claimant had already been granted an extension, had deposed her physician, and had ample time to depose her rebuttal physician after the employer’s IME physician’s deposition and before the last hearing. The claimant also failed to offer a compelling reason as to why her physician’s testimony was not sufficient. Martinez v. WCAB (Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia), 2016 Pa.Commw.Unpub.LEXIS 359 (Pa.Commw., May 12, 2016).

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*Prior Results Do Not Guarantee A Similar Outcome

Defense Digest, Vol. 22, No. 3, September 2016. Defense Digest is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING pursuant to New York RPC 7.1. © 2016 Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm. For reprints, contact tamontemuro@mdwcg.com.

 

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