Practice Areas & Industries: Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C.

 





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Practice/Industry Group Overview

The Workers' Compensation Practice Group is devoted to the exclusive representation of employers and insurance carriers. While many of the attorneys in this group have a background in civil litigation, each one focuses their practice solely on the defense of workers' compensation matters. Our attorneys are well versed in the intricacies of this nuanced practice, and due to their constant presence in the courts where they practice, they have become well respected by the judges before whom they regularly appear and the attorneys against whom they compete.

Workers' compensation is a fast-paced practice that requires a high degree of familiarity with the law. Our attorneys are involved in all aspects of workers' compensation from the infancy of a claim through practice in the appellate courts. We are vigorous litigators who also recognize that litigation is not always the primary focus of an employer's successful workers' compensation program. Significant monetary savings can be achieved through the effective management of workers' compensation plans and innovative return-to-work programs. Our attorneys are on the cutting edge of case law development and are able to assist in the design, implementation and continuation of such programs.

As workers' compensation has become increasingly sophisticated, we have expanded our scope of practice. In addition to providing our regular services, we also support clients in areas that have become tangential to the workers' compensation practice.

Workers' Compensation Fraud
Fraud contributes significantly to the cost of doing business and negatively impacts employers, insurance carriers and third party administrators. We can facilitate the filing of a fraud claim through local government agencies and review all cases for civil remedies to help our clients recoup some of the monies expended due to fraudulent cases.

Unemployment Compensation
There is increased interplay between unemployment compensation and workers' compensation cases. We can assist our clients in assessing their need for counsel in unemployment cases and can also answer specific questions on how to handle unemployment cases.

Medicare Set-Asides
Our attorneys regularly advise and counsel clients in matters related to Medicare Set-Asides. Led by James Pocius, who was actively involved in the creation and refinement of the regulations, our group is well versed in the workings of the federal and state liability systems as well as the workers' compensation systems of various states. We can assist our clients with Medicare Set-Aside allocations for workers' compensation and liability cases, Medicare eligibility searches, Medicare submissions to the agency for approval, conditional payment searches and revisions of Medicare Set-Aside allocations.

Fee Reviews
Fee reviews have become an increasingly important component of workers' compensation cases in Pennsylvania. We have identified the problems associated with the fee review system and developed a practice in Pennsylvania where our attorneys are involved at the initiation of the fee review process and aggressively represent our clients' interests through the fee review hearings. Medical providers are able to use the fee review process to challenge the timeliness or amount of medical payments made by the employer/carrier. Since a provider's allegations are accepted at face value during the initial stages of the fee review process, many unjust initial determinations are issued. Attorneys in each of our Pennsylvania offices have extensive experience with the issues that arise during fee reviews and have a thorough understanding of CPT codes, appropriate levels of treatment, appropriate types of treatment and how to win these cases in an efficient and cost effective manner.


 
Past Seminar Materials
  Workers' Compensation 101 Roundtable, Mary S. Kohnke Wagner and Anthony Natale, Speakers, Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey, Harrisburg, PA, June 8, 2012
 
 
Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

House Bill 373 Enacted to Control the Level of Workers’ Compensation Insurance Premiums by Making Significant Changes in the Medical Reimbursements Allowable Under the Healthcare Payment System
Paul V. Tatlow, August 06, 2014
This Act makes substantial changes to Titles 18 and 19 of the Delaware Code designed to control the level of workers’ compensation premiums in Delaware. The most significant changes are: (a) a 33% reduction in medical costs to the workers’ compensation system, phased in over a period of...

Employer Bears Burden of Proving Claimant’s Loss of Earning Power is Due to Lack of U.S. Citizenship
Francis X. Wickersham, August 05, 2014
The claimant filed a claim petition alleging that he sustained a work injury on July 19, 2008, while working as a truck driver for the employer. At a hearing held before the Workers’ Compensation Judge, the employer’s attorney cross examined the claimant, who was born in Ecuador and had...

An Order Denying Claim Made against Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund Based on Untimely Notice Was Properly Reversed When Evidence Showed That Claimant Did Not Know of Employer’s Uninsured Status until Being Notified of That Possibility by the Bureau
Francis X. Wickersham, July 01, 2014
The claimant worked for the employer as a mechanic and sustained a compression fracture injury in the course and scope of his employment. The claimant filed a claim petition, and the employer did not respond. The claimant attempted to have medical bills paid through the employer’s automobile...

Appellate Division Affirms Perceived Inadequate Fee Award on Motion for Medical and/or Temporary Benefits
Dario J. Badalamenti, July 01, 2014
On July 13, 2007, the petitioner was injured when he slipped and fell on the respondent’s premises. Prior to filing a claim with the Division of Workers’ Compensation, the petitioner’s injury was deemed compensable by the respondent’s workers’ compensation carrier, and...

Award of Benefits Reversed Due to Failure to Properly Weigh the Testimony of Petitioner’s and Respondent’s Competing Medical Experts
Dario J. Badalamenti, July 01, 2014
The petitioner had been employed as a fleet service agent with the respondent since 1981. His job responsibilities included loading and unloading baggage from planes, working in the bag room, placing baggage on carts, driving diesel and gas tugs, driving the equipment to move planes from the ramp...

Employer Has Legal Basis to Deny Paying for Claimant’s Narcotic Medication on Causation Grounds Because Claimant Was Arrested and Charged with Illegally Selling the Medication Prescribed for His Work Injury
Paul V. Tatlow, July 01, 2014
The claimant had sustained a low back injury on July 26, 2011, which was accepted as compensable. He underwent two back surgeries and was receiving narcotic medications. His total disability benefits had been terminated in February 2014, and he was receiving partial disability benefits. In March...

Insurer Entitled to Subrogation under §319 of PA Workers’ Compensation Act for Injuries Sustained by Claimant While Driving Out of State during the Course and Scope of Employment
Francis X. Wickersham, July 01, 2014
The claimant was injured in a motor vehicle accident that took place in Delaware while in the course and scope of her employment, and she received workers’ compensation benefits pursuant to the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. The claimant then reached a settlement of a third...

Modification Petition is Based on Results of Ire Was Properly Dismissed Because Ire Physician Failed to Satisfy §306 (a.2) Of Act by Not Being Active in Clinical Practice for At Least 20 Hours per Week
Francis X. Wickersham, July 01, 2014
The claimant was receiving workers’ compensation benefits for injuries he sustained in a work-related motor vehicle accident. The employer filed a request with the Bureau to designate a physician to perform an IRE. The physician selected performed the IRE and concluded that the claimant had...

New Jersey Supreme Court Reverses an Appellate Division Decision Employing an Overly Expansive Interpretation of the Premises Rule
Dario J. Badalamenti, July 01, 2014
As the petitioner’s employer, the respondent assigned the petitioner free parking at a private garage located about two blocks from her workplace. The respondent paid for 65 parking spaces for its employees at this private garage, provided each employee with a scan card so that they could...

Presumption of Prejudice Does Not Exist in Every Case Where an Employer Seeks to Recover an Overpayment of Compensation Made to a Claimant Who is Also Receiving a Pension
Francis X. Wickersham, July 01, 2014
The claimant, a firefighter, sustained a work injury. The employer accepted liability and paid the claimant Heart and Lung benefits equal to his full salary for over a year after the injury. The claimant then elected to take a disability pension, and the Heart and Lung benefits were replaced with...

Is Paying Temporary Total Disability Benefits Still an Admission of Liability In New Jersey Workers’ Compensation?
Kristy Olivo Salvitti, June 06, 2014
Respondent attorneys have long advised their clients not to fear the admission of liability when paying medical benefits based on N.J.S.A. 34:15-15. This section clearly states that “[t]he mere furnishing of medical treatment or the payment thereof by the employer shall not be construed to be...

Tooey—The Impact on the Employer Exclusivity Protection Long Afforded by the Act
Jennifer Timmeney Callahan, June 04, 2014
Prior to the implementation of workers’ compensation laws in the United States, civil lawsuits were the only avenue for an employee to seek compensation for job-related accidents. However, the system heavily favored the employer. An employee had to prove employer negligence. The employer, in...

Is Paying Temporary Total Disability Benefits Still an Admission of Liability In New Jersey Workers’ Compensation?
Kristy Olivo Salvitti, May 29, 2014
Respondent attorneys have long advised their clients not to fear the admission of liability when paying medical benefits based on N.J.S.A. 34:15-15. This section clearly states that “[t]he mere furnishing of medical treatment or the payment thereof by the employer shall not be construed to be...

Tooey—The Impact on the Employer Exclusivity Protection Long Afforded by the Act
Jennifer Timmeney Callahan, May 29, 2014
Prior to the implementation of workers’ compensation laws in the United States, civil lawsuits were the only avenue for an employee to seek compensation for job-related accidents. However, the system heavily favored the employer. An employee had to prove employer negligence.

The Expansion of Claimant’s Injuries by Judge’s Decision Granting a Review Petition Does Not Negate the Validity of a Prior Ire that was Not Challenged Within 60 Days
Francis X. Wickersham, April 03, 2014
After the claimant sustained a work-related injury that was acknowledged by the employer, the employer issued a notice of change of workers’ compensation disability status to the claimant, based on the results of an IRE which found the claimant to have a whole body impairment of 11 percent....

A Judge of Compensation’s Extreme Interpretation of the Premises Rule Withstands Appellate Division Review
Dario J. Badalamenti, March 28, 2014
The petitioner was employed as a blackjack dealer with the respondent casino. On September 19, 2012, after completing her shift, the petitioner obtained her vehicle from the respondent’s parking garage, drove along the respondent’s internal driveway, passed through the...

Benefits Were Properly Suspended After the Claimant Returned an Employment Verification Form by Fax Which Was Signed But Not Dated
Francis X. Wickersham, March 28, 2014
The claimant filed a claim petition for an injury he sustained while working for the employer. While the claim petition was pending, the employer sent the claimant an “Employee Verification of Employment, Self-Employment or Change in Physical Condition Form” (LIBC-760). The claimant was...

C&R Agreement That Does Not Resolve an Issue That Is On Appeal with the Board Does Not Preclude the Employer from Recovering From the Supersedeas Fund
Francis X. Wickersham, March 28, 2014
The claimant filed a claim petition, which was granted by the Workers’ Compensation Judge. In his decision, the Judge established the claimant’s average weekly wage and compensation rate, which the employer appealed. In connection with the appeal, the employer requested supersedeas,...

Ex Parte Communication Prohibited between Employer’s Attorney and Claimant’s Physician.
Francis X. Wickersham, March 28, 2014
This new Commonwealth Court decision has changed the law regarding communications between an employer and a panel physician when taking depositions. No longer is the counsel for the employer able to meet with the panel physician prior to the deposition as to do so violates the injured...

Injuries Sustained By Claimant Who, Through a State-Funded Program, Was Employed By Her Son as His Caregiver, Are Compensable Pursuant To the “Bunkhouse Rule” In That Her Presence on the Premises Was Required By the Nature of Her Employment
Francis X. Wickersham, March 28, 2014
Through a state-funded program, the claimant was employed by her son to provide care for him at her residence in exchange for an hourly wage. The claimant filed a claim petition, alleging that she sustained multiple injuries when, while she was sleeping in her bed, her son (employer) cut her throat...

The Claimant Does Not Qualify As A Displaced Worker Where His Inability To Obtain Work Is Not Due To The Work Injury But Rather To His Inability To Furnish The Employer With A Valid Social Security Number And Thereby Get Rehired
Paul V. Tatlow, March 28, 2014
This case was before the Superior Court on the claimant’s appeal from the Board’s decision which granted the employer’s petition for review, terminating the claimant’s total disability benefits and also finding the claimant ineligible for partial disability benefits. The...

The Division of Workers’ Compensation and the Superior Court Share Concurrent Jurisdiction to Determine Employment Status in the Context of an Exclusivity Defense
Francis X. Wickersham, March 28, 2014
After the claimant sustained a work-related injury that was acknowledged by the employer, the employer issued a notice of change of workers’ compensation disability status to the claimant, based on the results of an IRE which found the claimant to have a whole body impairment of 11 percent....

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Vacates Commonwealth Court Decision Finding Psychic Injury Suffered By Liquor Store Clerk Robbed At Gunpoint Not Compensable
Francis X. Wickersham, March 24, 2014
In a per curiam order from February 2014, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania vacated a Commonwealth Court decision that found a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) claim, made by a liquor store clerk robbed at gunpoint, not compensable and remanded it to the Commonwealth Court for reconsideration....

Merely Dictum or Controlling Decision? Recent Appellate Decision Addresses Right to Section 40 Recovery Against UIM Policy
Nancy L. Musser, March 14, 2014
In a decision that has practitioners scratching their heads in bewilderment, the New Jersey Appellate Division held in Dever v. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company, 2013 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2553 (N.J. Super. App. Div. October 23, 2013) that a workers’ compensation respondent has...

Ex Parte Communication Prohibited Between Employer’s Attorney and Claimant’s Physician
Francis X. Wickersham, January 17, 2014
A new Commonwealth Court decision in Pennsylvania State University v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Sox); 454 C.D. 2013, 455 C.D. 2013; filed December 19, 2013, has changed the law regarding communications between an employer and a panel physician when taking depositions. No longer is...

Massage Therapy Provided By an LPN Not Licensed In Massage Therapy Is Nevertheless Reasonable and Necessary
Francis X. Wickersham, January 14, 2014
The claimant was injured at work in July of 1997. Later, the claimant settled the wage loss portion of his claim through a compromise and release agreement. However, medicals remained opened. The employer then requested utilization review concerning the reasonableness and necessity of medical...

An Employee Injured In a Motor Vehicle Accident That Occurs When He Is Returning To the Workplace from a Lunch Break Was Not Within the Course and Scope of His Employment
Paul V. Tatlow, January 03, 2014
This case involved a petition to determine compensation due filed on behalf of the claimant alleging that his motor vehicle accident on July 2, 2012, occurred during the course and scope of his employment and, therefore, was compensable.

An Impairment Rating Given For a Medical Condition That Is Not Part Of the Recognized Work Injury Will Not Bar the Employer from Obtaining a Termination for the Official Work Injury
Francis X. Wickersham, January 03, 2014
The claimant sustained a work-related injury to his right ankle. The employer issued a notice of compensation payable (NCP) acknowledging the right ankle sprain, and the claimant received temporary total disability benefits. The claimant was later seen for an IRE and was given a 13% impairment, and...

Employer Not Obligated To Reinstate Benefits or Show Continuing Availability of Suitable Work When Claimant, With Residual Disability Seeking To Return To Light-Duty Job, Suffers Non-Work-Related Total Disability Preventing Him from Working At All.
Francis X. Wickersham, January 03, 2014
In June 1996, while working under permanent, light-duty restrictions, the claimant suffered a work injury to his right knee. The claimant filed a claim petition, and benefits were awarded after a Workers’ Compensation Judge granted the petition. Shortly after the June 1996, injury, the...

PA Supreme Court Holds That Employer’s Burden Of Proof When Seeking Modification Of Benefits Based On Labor Market Survey Requires Showing Existence Of Open Jobs Claimant Is Capable Of Filling, Not Simply The Existence Of Jobs That Already Filled
Francis X. Wickersham, January 03, 2014
In this case, the claimant sustained a work-related injury to her left shoulder. The claimant received physical therapy, and three surgeries were performed on the shoulder. The employer later filed a modification petition based on the results of two labor market surveys.

Petitioner’s Claim Dismissed Based on an Adverse Inference Drawn from Petitioner’s Failure to Produce Either the Testimony or Records of His Treating Cardiologist
Dario J. Badalamenti, January 03, 2014
The petitioner was employed by the respondent from 1961 through 1974 and again from 1986 though his retirement in 1999. The majority of the petitioner’s career with the respondent was spent as a vehicle maintenance foreman, where he supervised the maintenance of cars, trucks and heavy...

The Employer’s Making of Medical Payments Over An 18-Month Period was done Under a Feeling of Compulsion and Thereby Tolled the Statute Of Limitations
Paul V. Tatlow, January 03, 2014
This case was tried before the Superior Court regarding the employer’s appeal from a Board decision that granted the claimant’s petition to determine additional compensation due by awarding payment of medical expenses as well as a counsel fee. The Board had concluded that the...

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania clarifies Section 413 (a) of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act
Francis X. Wickersham, January 03, 2014
This case involved a claimant who sought a reinstatement of temporary total disability benefits after the 500-week period of partial disability had long since expired. The claimant was injured in January of 1989. In September of 1989, the claimant returned to work with no loss of earnings, and...

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds That A Pennsylvania State Trooper Who Struck and Killed A Woman with His Patrol Car Was Entitled To Benefits for A Psychic Injury Due To Abnormal Working Conditions
Francis X. Wickersham, January 02, 2014
The claimant, a trooper for the Pennsylvania State Police, was driving his patrol car early on a dark morning when a woman, dressed all in black, suddenly ran in front of his vehicle and was struck by the car. The claimant immediately pulled the car into the traffic lane and rushed to help the...

Not So Fast!!! The Court Reverses Dismissal of Unjust Enrichment Claim for Overpayment of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Robert J. Fitzgerald, December 18, 2013
In Adam Weiner v. Elizabeth Board of Education, 2013 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1729 (N.J. Super. App. Div. July 15, 2013), the New Jersey Appellate Division addressed the issue of what process is required in order to properly evaluate an unjust enrichment claim. The fact of the case are...

The Disregarded Diagnosis--How to Litigate the Termination Petition Without an Unreasonable Contest
Raphael M. Duran,Andrea C. Rock, December 18, 2013
Both defense attorneys and insurance adjusters have been in the situation where they receive an IME report in which the doctor seems to have disagreed with the work-related diagnoses or ignored what was judicially determined as work-related by a workers’ compensation judge. While this...

Delaware Supreme Court Concludes That Medical Bills of A Non-Certified Provider Are Not Compensable Because Preauthorization Was Necessary
, November 26, 2013
In Wyatt v. ResCare Home Care (decided November 20, 2013)-a case argued by Linda Wilson of our Wilmington, Delaware, office-the Delaware Supreme Court rejects the Superior Court’s decision in Vanvliet v. D&B Transp., 2012 WL 5964392 (Del. Super. Ct. Nov. 28, 2012) and holds that the medical...