Workers' Compensation

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 a claim before the Appellate Division affirming a Trial Court's decision that a Bihler operator did not suffer hearing loss during the course and scope of his employment. The Judge of Compensation found a lack of credible evidence to prove petitioner suffered physical injuries and hearing loss as a result of excessive noise exposure based on petitioner’s inconsistent testimony, the records of the treating doctors, and petitioner’s expert testimony, which provided no basis for the diagnosis, as well as an inconsistent narrative of the facts of the case. The Appellate Court held that the judge's factual and credibility findings were amply supported by sufficient credible evidence in the record, and there was no basis to disturb them.

  • Successfully prosecuted an employer's Petition for Termination of all workers' compensation benefits. In reaching this decision, the Judge credited the testimony of the IME physician, that the claimant fully recovered,  over that of the claimant and his treating physician regarding ongoing pain and disability.

  • Successfully defended a Claim Petition, alleging a work-related aggravation of left knee arthritis necessitating a total knee replacement with various periods of disability. The employer was not responsible for medical expenses, disability benefits or litigation costs. The Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) concluded that the claimant failed to prove timely notice to the employer of the alleged injury from March 2017. The WCJ also concluded that the claimant failed to prove through medical evidence her left knee condition was caused or aggravated by a work incident or by general work activities.

  • Resolved a complex, high-exposure lumbar spine injury requiring multiple surgeries in an expeditious manner resulting in minimal litigation costs and a prompt stoppage of ongoing payments of indemnity and medical benefits. In doing so, it protected a subrogation lien valued at over $400,000.00, which the client recently fully recovered.

  • Received a favorable decision from the Appeal Board affirming the denial of a Claim Petition alleging head injury resulting in nearly a million dollars in medical expenses and future care. Although Claimant testified the injury occurred when he was alone, multiple co-workers who were working with Claimant that day helped piece together the event to establish that no such injury occurred.  

  • 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 defending a Reinstatement and Review Petition of an employee who tripped and fell at work, injuring her knee.  Claimant was terminated for cause post-injury, and alleged injuries to multiple body parts other than the knee.  The Judge found claimant’s injury to be limited to a knee contusion, that claimant’s wage loss was not related to her work injury, and found her fully recovered from the knee contusion based on credible testimony of employer’s medical expert.

  • 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.

  • Successfully prosecuted a termination petition and obtained a termination of benefits. In that matter, the claimant sustained a groin injury and underwent surgery, although, continued to have ongoing complaints and pursued medical treatment. The WCJ opted to terminate compensation in accordance with an IME opinion of full recovery. In this regard, the WCJ found the IME physician to be more knowledgeable and informed in terms of claimant’s condition as compared to claimant’s medical expert, who recently commenced treatment. The WCJ specifically took note that IME physician reviewed more of claimant’s medical records, was more familiar with the medical history, treatment and details regarding claimant’s work injury and employment history. Most crucial was the fact the WCJ was persuaded by IME physician’s explanation for the claimant’s ongoing complaints, which he attributed to an unrelated urological condition, something discounted by claimant’s treating physiatrist. As a result of the decision, the client is able to avoid liability for claimant’s ongoing medical treatment, including medications, and is not responsible for reimbursement of counsel’s litigation costs which total nearly $3,000. Once the decision is final, the client will be able to pursue a sizable supersedeas reimbursement sum for medical benefits paid out over the last year.

  • Successfully defended against an appeal filed by the Claimant. In this matter, the Claimant sustained an injury to her face and eye. WCJ terminated compensation in accordance with an IME of full recovery. In response to Claimant’s appeal, the WCAB reviewed the evidence of record, and concluded that the WCJ did not err, and his decision was supported by his credibility determinations of the witnesses involved. The WCAB also highlighted that the Claimant bore the burden of establishing a causal relation between her work and additional alleged injuries by unequivocal medical evidence, which was unable to be met by virtue of the WCJ’s rejection of her medical experts’ testimony. The WCAB went on to conclude that there was adequate evidence to support the WCJ’s findings, and rejected Claimant’s assertion of error from a substantial evidence perspective. Once the decision is final, the client will be able to pursue a sizable supersedeas reimbursement sum, which is expected to exceed $40,000.

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