• Heart and Lung Act Benefits Not Subject to Subrogation Under Act Even When Claimant Agreed to Employer’s Lien Recovery in Stipulation.
  • April 27, 2017 | Author: Francis X. Wickersham
  • Law Firm: Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C. - King Of Prussia Office
  • Pennsylvania State Police v. WCAB (Bushta); 2426 C.D. 2015; filed Oct. 26, 2016; Judge Covey

    The Commonwealth Court found that the claimant signed the stipulation that was submitted to the Workers’ Compensation Judge after they issued their opinion in Stermel v. WCAB (City of Philadelphia, 103 A.3d, 876 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2014), wherein the court held that Heart and Lung benefits were not subject to § 319 of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. The employer argued that, despite Stermel, the claimant signed the stipulation after it was decided and, therefore, the claimant was bound by the stipulation, notwithstanding the claimant’s lack of knowledge of the Stermel opinion. The Commonwealth Court rejected this argument, pointing out that Stermel was decided before the Workers’ Compensation Judge issued his decision and before the matter was appealed to the Appeal Board. The court also rejected the employer’s argument that the Workers’ Compensation Judge’s decision was not contrary to Stermel, making it abundantly clear that the Heart and Lung benefits paid by the employer were not subject to subrogation.