Advertising Disclosure Email Disclosure

A finding of full recovery in an administrative hearing for act 632 benefits collaterally estops the claimant from contesting a termination petition.

January 1, 2011
Commonwealth DOC v. WCAB (Wagner-Stover), No. 1133 C.D. 2008, filed October 1, 2010, by Judge Leavitt

The claimant worked as a manager in the commissary of the Camp Hill State Correctional Facility. She was identified on a "hit list" created by the prisoners and was verbally assaulted by inmates. She filed a psychiatric claim, which was accepted as compensable. She also received full salary in lien of compensation under Act 632. The employer received evidence of full recovery and sought termination of Act 632 benefits. An administrative hearing found the claimant to be fully recovered. The employer then filed a termination petition in the workers' compensation case and alleged collateral estoppel. The workers' compensation judge dismissed the petition, and the Appeal Board affirmed. However, the Commonwealth Court reversed, holding that collateral estoppel did bind the workers' compensation judge to find full recovery from the workers' compensation injury. The court noted that the issues were identical in the two proceedings: there was a final judgment on the merits, the parties were identical and there was a full opportunity to litigate the issue in the Act 632 process. Thus, the legal principle of collateral estoppel precluded a challenge to that finding in the termination petition.

Case Law Alert, 1st Qtr 2011

Affiliated Attorney

Francis X. Wickersham
Shareholder
(610) 354-8263
fxwickersham@mdwcg.com
G. Jay Habas
Managing Attorney, Erie, PA Office
(814) 480-7802
gjhabas@mdwcg.com

Practice Areas

Before you send this email please note:

You are attempting to send email, through a link on our website, to an attorney of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin or an employee in our firm. Please note that your email may not be treated as confidential and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely upon the transmission of an email through this website if you are seeking to enter into such a relationship. Until such time as we have agreed to represent you, no information in your email will be treated as confidential. Please contact us directly by telephone at 1.800.220.3308 if it is your intent to seek legal counsel with our firm or convey confidential information.

If it is still your intent to send this email, knowing that it may not be treated as confidential, you may accept our terms of agreement by pressing "OK". If you choose not to accept these terms of agreement you may navigate away from this page by pressing "Cancel."