Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, an injured worker has 120 days to provide notice of a work injury to his or her employer. If notice is not given within this time, a Claim Petition may be barred. The time period for giving notice can be extended where the work injury, or its relation to work, is not immediately apparent to the injured worker (“The Discovery Rule”).
Recently, in The Hershey Company v. Woodhouse (Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board), the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania looked at what constitutes sufficient “notice” to meet the legal requirement. Here, the injured worker had a history of diabetic neuropathy and had developed a right diabetic foot ulcer in June of 2017. On November 6, 2017, the injured worker passed out at work and was taken to a hospital. Subsequently, the injured worker sent an e-mail to his employer that he had emergency foot surgery. A below-the-knee amputation was performed on the right leg. The e-mail did not mention any relation to work.
On December 1, 2019, Claimant filed a Claim Petition, alleging that “he suffered a work injury on November 6, 2017, consisting of an aggravation of a diabetic foot ulcer and a below-the-knee amputation of his right leg.”