Ashley S. Eldridge

Associate

Ashley is a member of the Workers' Compensation Department and concentrates her practice on the defense of workers' compensation claims. Throughout her career, Ashley has successfully defended a diverse field of employers, including a national communications company and a national banking corporation, along with various companies in the manufacturing, food production, transportation, construction, non-profit and retail industries. Her experience also includes representation of self-insured and TPA clients.

Ashley graduated summa cum laude from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she was an interscholastic athlete and member of the swimming and diving team. She received her juris doctor from Widener University School of Law and while there, participated in the Moot Court Honor Society, Moe Levine Trial Advocacy Honor Society, Alternative Dispute Resolution Society and the Environmental Law Clinic. Ashley also had the opportunity to study international law at the Université de Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland. During her time abroad, Ashley interned at the World Health Organization where she researched international legislation regarding the regulation and use of opioid medications.

Ashley is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

 

 

 

 

 

Significant Representative Matters

Ashley obtained a defense verdict on a Claim Petition which alleged significant cognitive, spine and orthopedic injuries following a fall at work. ​In this case, claimant fell from the second level of a mushroom house. There was no dispute as to the fall, nor that claimant required hospitalization for multiple transverse process fracture in the lumbar spine. However, after approximately three months of treatment, claimant was released to full duty work, and at which point, the claim was denied. A Claim Petition was filed, alleging not only total disability, but also a multitude of additional cognitive, spine and orthopedic injuries. Ashley presented the testimony of claimant's treating physician, a neurosurgeon, an orthopedic surgeon doctor, and fact witness testimony from the insured and an SIU investigator. Ultimately, although granting the Claim Petition for the time claimant was in the hospital, the judge suspended benefits from a few weeks after the injury, and granted a termination based upon the medical evidence presented by the the employer. The Decision was the best possible outcome, and an outright win for the employer.

Ashley, along with Audrey Copeland, obtained a defense verdict on appeal of a Claim Petition to the Commonwealth Court. Initially, Ashley successfully defended a bifurcated Claim Petition filed by the claimant, an independent contractor. Opposing counsel appealed, and the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board reversed and remanded the decision for evidence on the medical component of the claim. However, contrary to the defendant's argument, on remand, the judge granted the Claim Petition, finding she was "constrained" to reaffirm the Board on the independent contractor issue. The defendant once again appealed, and the Board re-affirmed the Claim Petition. Audrey and Ashley took the case up on appeal, and the Commonwealth Court agreed that the record did not demonstrate a "high level of control" such that an employment relationship has been established. Accordingly it reversed the order affirming the Claim Petition.

Ashley successfully defended a national transportation company in a case that presented complex legal issues on employment relationship and liability. In this case, the claimant filed separate Claim Petitions against two companies, their respective carriers, and the UEGF. The claimant and the co-defendant attempted to convince the Judge that our client to be liable, although Ashley successfully proved that the other defendant was the legal employer and liable for purposes of workers’ compensation. On appeal, the determination was upheld, affirming that our client was not the employer in this matter.

Ashley successfully defended a Claim and Penalty Petition for a repetitive stress injury which allegedly occurred while the claimant was working at a large manufacturing facility. Although the claimant attempted to establish her duties as repetitive and physical, Ashley presented convincing fact witness testimony which included a live demonstration of the pre-injury duties to demonstrate how little exertion was required. This made a lasting impression on the Judge, who denied the Claim and Penalty Petitions.

Ashley successfully defended a national transportation company in a case that presented complex legal issues on employment relationship and liability. In this case, the claimant filed separate Claim Petitions against two companies, their respective carriers, and the UEGF. The claimant and the co-defendant attempted to convince the Judge that our client to be liable, although Ashley successfully proved that the other defendant was the legal employer and liable for purposes of workers’ compensation. On appeal, the determination was upheld, affirming that our client was not the employer in this matter.

Classes/Seminars Taught

COVID-19 and Workers' Compensation, Dispute Resolution Institute's Personal Injury Potpourri, April 20, 2021

Professional Development Trends, Emerging Topics in Leaning and Leadership Development, Philly I-Days, April 13, 2021

Setting the Strategy Stage: When to Deny and Fight a Workers’ Compensation Claim, Marshall Dennehey webinar, October 30, 2020

Identifying Fraudulent Workers' Compensation Claims, Marshall Dennehey Workers' Compensation Seminar, October 24, 2019

The Interplay Between Traumatic Brain Injuries and Fraud in Workers' Compensation, Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Conference, Hershey, Pennsylvania, April 24, 2019

Tough Problems in Workers’ Compensation 2019: Handling UEGF Claims After Act 132, Pennsylvania Bar Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 9, 2019

Published Works

"Handling Traumatic Brain Injury Claims," CLM Magazine, February 2020

“Applying Baxter or Little: Examining the Burden of Proving a Full Recovery in the Context of a Pre-existing Condition,” Defense Digest, Vol. 25, No. 2, June 2019

"Clarifying the Burden in a Section 108(r) Occupational Disease Claim: The Impact of Sladek and Hutz," Defense Digest, Vol. 22, No. 4, December 2016

"You Have The Right to An Attorney But Not Additional Time: Examining the Role of An Unrepresented Claimant in the Workers’ Compensation Proceeding," Defense Digest, Vol. 21, No. 3, September 2015

Admissions
Pennsylvania
2012
New Jersey
2012
Education
Widener University School of Law (J.D., 2012)
Université de Lausanne (2010)
Indiana University of Pennsylvania (B.A., summa cum laude, 2009)
Honors & awards
The Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch©, Workers' Compensation Law - Employers
2022
Golden Gavel Award, Westfield Insurance
February 2019
Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Rising Star
2020-2021
Associations & memberships
American Bar Association, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section
Greater Philadelphia Executive Claims Council
Philadelphia Bar Association, Workers' Compensation Section Assistant Secretary (2021)
Year joined
2014