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Who is on the Supersedeas board for PA work comp appeal decision? Are they lawyers or judges?

Philadelphia, PA |

I am an injured firefighter receiving a disability pension due to a LOD injury and numerous subsequent surgeries. I was awarded a specific loss of use, by a work comp Judge, and the employer is appealing? They are also requesting Supersedeas, and I am wondering how the board is comprised. I want to know what I am up against. Thank you.

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

In your circumstance, the Supersedeas Decision will be made by commissioners on the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board. Your attorney, who knows the facts of your case, is really in the best position to tell you what you are up against and how likely the WCAB is to grant or deny Supersedeas. I suggest you call your attorney.

Posted

From the facts of your question, I am assuming you are inquiring about the "makeup" of the Workers Compensation Appeal Board. When a party loses before the Workers Compensation Judge an Appeal is filed with the Board and if Benefits were awarded typically a Request for Supersedeas is filed at or about the same time. And Answer should be filed to the Petition for Supersedeas within 14 days setting forth the basis why the Request for Supersedeas should be denied.

Unless the WCJ's Decision is totally against the weight of evidence, the Board typically denies the Defendants request for supersedeas as to the award of indemnity benefits. If Unreasonable Contest Attorney Fees are awarded and/or Penalties are awarded they typically grant the Request for Supersedeas.

Regardless of their ruling with respect to the Request for Supersedeas it is not a final decision on the issue until they have heard Oral Argument, received and reviewed briefs from both parties and issued and Opinion and Order.

If you are currently represented by counsel, this question would best be posed of your attorney who would be in a better position to address your concerns. If you do not have an Attorney, it is my recommendation that you immediately contact an Attorney to represent your interest before the WCAB as obviously the Workers Compensation Carrier has an experienced attorney representing their interests. Please note most Attorneys will not charge for an initial consultation and will accept your case on a Contingent He Basis.

This answer to your legal inquiry is based upon the limited facts stated in your question. Accurate legal advice is based upon an exchange between a lawyer and a client. The lawyer can then ask about other facts that may change or confirm the answer. Without that exchange, this reply should be considered limited in value. You should rely on this answer only at your own risk. Direct consultation with a lawyer is always recommended. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship. The answering attorney is licensed in Pennsylvania and all answers are given pursuant to Pennsylvania law, unless otherwise indicated. If you have further questions regarding your issue, or my answer you may contact me to discuss this issue further by calling 215-496-9607 or sending an email to rjaffe@phillyworkinjury.com

Posted

This is a question your attorney should be able to answer. The members of the Appeal Board are called Commissioners. They are former attorneys. It is a small percentage of cases that have Supersedeas granted. It is impossible to know how strong the employer's appeal is based upon the few facts you have presented. Your attorney would best advise you. However, if there is substantial evidence to support the award in your favor, it is unlikely the ployer's request for Supersedeas will be granted.

Posted

Great question. But I think it is probably better for you to be aware that in most appeals, the appeal board does not reverse the decision of the Workers' Compensation Judge. There are very limited reasons that the appeal board will reverse the decision of the Judge. Usually, the party that filed the appeal must prove that the Judge made a legal mistake, or that the Judge made a factual finding that is not supported by the evidence. There is a third area (that I have never seen in 20 plus years) where the party filing the appeal can try to show that the state Constitution was violated. In most cases, the appeal board will "affirm" the decision of the Judge.

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