• Can Seek Benefits After Quitting, Provided You Establish Injury Occurred In Course Of Employment. Employer Not Judicially Estopped From Arguing Claimant Not An Employee At Time Of Injury, Even If Employment Admitted In Answer To Civil Action Complaint.
  • September 29, 2014 | Author: Francis X. Wickersham
  • Law Firm: Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C. - King Of Prussia Office
  • The claimant informed his manager that he was quitting. According to company policy, the manager accompanied the claimant to his company truck to remove his personal belongings. After removing these items, the claimant tripped and fell, sustaining injuries. The claimant timely reported his injury. He was refused a panel physician and informed that such physicians were limited to active employees.

    This case ultimately found its way to the Commonwealth Court, which held that, even though the claimant quit, he was on the employer’s premises and was furthering the employer’s interests by removing his belongings from the employer’s truck while under his manager’s supervision. Thus, the claimant was under the employer’s control at the time of the injury. Moreover, the court noted that §301 (c) (1) of the Act does not preclude a claimant from seeking benefits for such an injury after the employment relationship has ceased, provided it can be established the injury occurred in the course of employment.

    The court also rejected the claimant’s argument that the employer was judicially estopped from arguing that the claimant was not in the scope of employment at the time of the injury because the employer had already admitted in its answer to the claimant’s civil action complaint that the claimant was an employee at the time of the injury. According to the court, judicial estoppel did not apply since the claimant voluntarily withdrew the complaint.

    Case Law Alerts, 4th Quarter, October 2014