C&W Journal

March 27, 2007

Broad Interpretation Of Course Of Employment

The decedent was fatally struck by a drunk driver while walking on an employer owned public sidewalk from the parking lot to his check-in station nearly 30 minutes before the employee's shift was to begin. In the ensuing fatal claim litigation, the employer challenged the work-relatedness of the claimant's death. The Court granted the fatal claim...

March 27, 2007

Positive IRE Does Not Preclude Termination

In denying a termination petition for credibility reasons, the judge ordered the employer to pay counsel fees for unreasonable contest. The Board reversed, ruling that the employer’s evidence...

March 27, 2007

New Federal Electronic Discovery Rules

On December 1, 2006, amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure went into effect regarding “electronically stored information.” The amendments require that electronic information must be...

March 27, 2007

New Laws: Use Headlights And Remove Snow

Two new laws recently went into effect in Pennsylvania for the winter driving season. The first new law requires the driver of a motor vehicle to use headlights if the windshield wipers are in use...

March 27, 2007

Blind Employees' Cane Is A Known And Obvious Danger

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has determined that a retail store had no duty to warn a patron of the known and obvious dangers posed by the cane of a blind employee. In Campisi v. Acme Markets,...

November 27, 2006

Act 169 And The Health Care Power Of Attorney

In November 2006 the Legislature passed and the Governor signed Act 169 to create a new statutory basis for Advanced Directives for Health Care. Advanced Directives include Health Care Powers of...

November 27, 2006

Act 147 Amends The Workers' Compensation Act

House Bill 2738 (now Act 147) was signed by the Governor on November 9, 2006 resulting in several substantive procedural changes to Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation law. The purpose of the new...

October 27, 2006

No-Fault Divorce Property Distribution

A divorce action may be filed in Pennsylvania so long as one of the spouses has been a resident of Pennsylvania for at least six (6) months immediately prior to commencement of an action. To...

October 27, 2006

When Is A Denial Not A Denial?

Walter E. Werner, III
Founding Partner and Firm-Wide Workers' Compensation Chair at Pittsburgh, PA

Answer: In nearly every option available on the “Notice of Workers’ Compensation Denial (LIBC 496)”. As the practice of workers’ compensation has evolved over the last 10-15 years, one cannot help...

October 27, 2006

Separation And Child Custody

Custody means the legal right to keep, control, guard, care for and preserve a child and includes “legal custody” and “physical custody.” (1) Legal custody is the right to make major decisions...

October 27, 2006

Child Support Obligations

The law requires parents to provide support for their children who are unemancipated and eighteen (18) years of age and younger. Additionally, unique circumstances may require a parent to provide...

September 27, 2006

Benefit Of Self-Employment Income Slices Both Ways

The long-standing procedure of including self-employment earnings when calculating a claimant's entitlement to partial benefits is not proper, except for earnings from the self-employment job...

September 27, 2006

Medicare Lightens Up

CMS has amended its stated threshold for determining which case settlements to review to confirm that Medicare’s interests are protected. Medicare approval of settlements was previously required...

September 27, 2006

Police Report Needed For Uninsured Motorist Benefits

The policy issued by State Farm and, more importantly, the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL) required the filing of a police report when an accident occurs and the insured files a...

September 27, 2006

Liability For Fall On Black Ice Colored By Human Intervention

The trial court granted a nonsuit based upon the doctrine of “Hills and Ridges” based upon testimony that the plaintiff fell on black ice because there was no evidence of human interference in the...

September 27, 2006

Pre-Bid Investigation: Kilbuck Landslide

On September 19, 2006, a massive landslide occurred at a shopping plaza construction site in Kilbuck Township, PA that led to the shutdown of busy traffic and rail arteries. The development was...

August 27, 2006

Layoffs Lower Wage Calculations

Whenever possible, the claimant’s earnings history is to be the basis of their wage calculation. Calculating wages upon anticipated earnings is speculative and, in cases in which the claimant is...

July 27, 2006

Business Continuity Planning

Like many of your clients, you may be a small business owner. We understand your problems and concerns, for we operate a small business, also. In the rush and stress of daily management, it is...

July 27, 2006

Guiding Your Family Through Difficult Transitions

We are often asked, “Do I need an estate plan?” or “Do I need a will?” These questions are like asking if you need a 2005 Honda Accord with a satellite radio receiver. You have assumed that you...

June 27, 2006

Medicare's Effect on a Compromise and Release

Historically, workers’ compensation settlements essentially allowed a claimant to double dip. The cost of a claimant’s future medical exposure was taken into consideration when negotiating the...

June 27, 2006

Child Support Status And Settling Claims

The Pennsylvania legislature passed Act 109 in summer 2006. Effective September 2006, workers’ compensation judges do not have authority to approve a compromise and release agreement until the...

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