When the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania decided Lewis v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board back in 2007, we attorneys who represent the injured worker thought things had really changed. No longer could the workers’ comp insurance carrier file Termination Petition after Termination Petition in an endless series to evade the payment of benefits. Indeed, there were cases from Commonwealth Court of PA shortly after Lewis which gave us real hope. Unfortunately, that same Commonwealth Court has now pulled that hope away.
In Baumann v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Kellogg Company), the injured worker suffered a right shoulder and upper back strain, and a right C6 radiculopathy was later added, as a result of a car accident while he was performing his job duties in 2007. In November, 2009, a Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) issued a decision denying a Petition for Termination.
Following another Defense Medical Examination (DME, laughingly referred to officially as an “Independent” Medical Examination, where nothing is independent) with the same expert as in the prior litigation, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier filed another Petition for Termination in 2010.