We successfully prosecuted a suspension petition in a case of first impression in Pennsylvania. The claimant sustained a compensable mental injury while employed with the employer. Thereafter, he refused to attend an Impairment Evaluation after receiving 104 weeks of indemnity benefits due to his injury. The court initially issued an order compelling the claimant’s attendance. Nevertheless, the claimant maintained his refusal to attend the evaluation, citing the fact that he was COVID-19 positive and required to quarantine. We demanded that verification of the virus be made part of the evidence record. In response, the claimant’s attorney submitted into the evidence record a COVID-19 testing result, which was an at-home test. We reviewed the testing result and found that it was a fake—there was a pornographic image contained in the window of the positive testing result, and through internet research we determined that this fake test was being used all over the United States.

The claimant’s attorney was unaware that the test was fake and maintained it as part of the evidence record. At oral argument, Tony referred the court to the manufactured evidence and not only argued for a suspension of benefits, but also alleged that the claimant violated the fraud provisions of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. Claimant’s attorney immediately removed himself as counsel of record. The court determined, based on the evidence, that benefits were suspended and actually concluded as a matter of law that the claimant committed fraud – a decision of first impression in Pennsylvania.