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Pennsylvania Supreme Court holds that subrogation of future benefits under Section 319 of the Act does not include medical benefits.

October 1, 2018
Craig M. Whitmoyer v. WCAB (Mountain Country Meats); 52 MAP 2017; decided Jun. 19, 2018; Justice Donohue

The Supreme Court held that for purposes of subrogation, the future credit/reimbursement rate percentage applies to future indemnity benefits, not to future medical expenses. The inclusion of the words “installments of compensation” at the end of § 319 of the Act contemplates payment of disability benefits only, since only disability benefits and not medical expenses can be paid in installments. The court observed that a third party recovery in excess of the lien is considered an advance payment of benefits under § 319 of the Act. In the court’s view, after satisfying an employer’s accrued subrogation lien, which includes both disability benefits and medical expenses paid prior to a third party settlement, the General Assembly intended the excess recovery to be paid to the injured employee and to be treated as an advance payment only on account of any future disability benefits. In other words, an employer is not permitted to seek reimbursement for future medical expenses.

 

 

Case Law Alerts, 4th Quarter, October 2018

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