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Weber Gallagher defends employers in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, and New Jersey in workers’ compensation matters in union and non-union settings. We also routinely recover subrogation liens, institute fraud prosecutions, prepare and file amicus briefs and assist with legislative lobbying. Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business recognized the firm’s Workers’ Compensation practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in 2019. Our clients include public and private employers, insurers, self-insured entities and third-party administrators, from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. We appear before workers’ compensation judges and appellate panels, state courts and agencies, and at all federal court levels. Our work in the field includes:
- Counseling clients on managing risk and averting litigation
- Assisting with the design and implementation of return-to-work programs
- Helping coordinate workers’ compensation policies for multistate businesses
- Handling matters related to the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, Merchant Marine Act (the Jones Act), and Mine Safety and Health Administration
Our Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Group attorneys have been closely following the Protz v WCAB (Derry Area School District) ruling and how it will affect employers. The unexpected decision by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court held that Impairment Rating Evaluations (IRE) are unconstitutional if they were performed using any edition of the AMA Guides of Permanent Impairment beyond the 4th Edition. Click here to review our detailed materials about this decision.
Successfully defended Claim and Penalty Petitions. The employee filed the petitions against a family-owned packaging company. The Workers’ Compensation Judge rejected the employee’s credibility based on significant inconsistencies Ventre established relative to the employee’s testimony, and that of her co-workers and contents of medical records. The Workers' Compensation Judge also credited the testimony of the IME doctor, who, like The Judge, found the employee to be evasive. This was a significant win for the employer as the employee was pursuing a claim for very serious injuries, including alleged multi-level lumbar and cervical disc herniations and radiculopathy with a reported need for surgery. As a result of the decision, the client avoids liability for wage loss and medical benefits, which could have eclipsed six figures. The employer has no liability for penalties or reimbursement of the employee’s litigation costs.
Successful in defeating claimant’s Reinstatement and Review Petitions. Claimant tripped and fell at work, injuring her right knee. She treated briefly with employer’s panel physicians and was released to full duty work. A few weeks later, the claimant was terminated after engaging in a verbal altercation with her supervisor. Claimant sought to have her indemnity benefits reinstated, and also filed a Review Petition, alleging that in addition to a knee contusion, she also suffered from internal derangement of her right knee, a right ankle injury, and a low back injury. The Judge found claimant and her medical experts incredible and accepted the testimony of the employer’s medical expert and two employer fact witnesses (claimant’s supervisor and the HR Generalist). The Judge found that claimant’s termination for cause was unrelated to her work injury, and did not warrant reinstatement of benefits. The Judge also did not believe claimant sustained injuries to her low back or right ankle. Claimant filed a timely Appeal, arguing that the Judge’s decision was not based on substantial evidence. The Appeal Board disagreed, and affirmed the Decision. Claimant’s benefits are now terminated, and no further payments after her termination for cause were due, saving the employer significant money.
Successfully tried a Motion for lack of coverage. In this matter, petitioner alleged injuries sustained in a MVA. The claim was denied as petitioner, the owner of the company, had excluded himself from coverage under the policy. Nonetheless, following the accident, petitioner claimed that he did not know that he specifically excluded himself from coverage. Emails were submitted to the court indicating that petitioner was given information about different policy premiums for coverage and non-coverage. The emails further indicated that he had previously excluded himself on an earlier policy. The motion was tried and testimony was taken both from the insurance broker and of the petitioner. The Judge did not find the petitioner credible noting that he frequently changed his answers when confronted with documents that contradicted his assertions. As such, the Judge granted our dismissal with prejudice. Respondent avoided being on the hook for payment of medical treatment for multiple injuries and temporary disability benefits.
- 06.04.19Panelist, "Health Information Privacy: Is Your Medical Information Protected?" Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry's 18th Annual Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Conference, Hershey, PA
- 05.28.19Presenter, IRE Analysis: Practice and Procedure, Moorestown, NJ
- 05.15.19Moderator, "Workers' Compensation Bench Bar Conference"