Previously, we have discussed “reported” cases versus “non-reported” cases, and how each can be used (the Courts have now started to use the terms “precedential” versus “non-precedential”). Since they are not binding on a Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ), we rarely discuss non-precedential (or “non-reported”) cases on our blog. However, when we see a decision in an important area of law, it can be helpful to explore how Courts are treating the law (and the previous cases).
Several years ago, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania decided the case of Lewis v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (WCAB). This case was critical for the rights of injured workers in Pennsylvania, as it kept the workers’ comp insurance carriers from being able to file Termination Petition after Termination Petition, for little purpose other than to harass and annoy the injured worker. Instead, as logic would dictate, the insurance company would have to show that there was actually a change in the condition of the injured worker before the insurance carrier could win a subsequent Petition for Termination (after litigating, and losing, a previous Petition for Termination).
As we noted on our blog, this was followed by some indication that PA Courts would undermine the concept, and allow a Termination of workers’ compensation benefits, even after litigation of a previous Termination Petition.