Partner David F. Stern Featured in The Legal Intelligencer

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Partner David F. Stern and Attorney Taylor J. Cohen Co-Author Legal Intelligencer Article, “‘Protz’ and the Implications of Its Retroactive Application”

On June 20, 2017, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania handed down its definitive opinion in Protz v. WCAB (Derry Area School District), 124 A.3d 406 (Pa. 2017). Therein, the Court determined that Section 306(a.2) of the Act was an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority by the General Assembly to the AMA, striking the section in its entirety.

In their most recent The Legal Intelligencer article, “‘Protz’ and the Implications of Its Retroactive Application,” Partner David F. Stern and Associate Taylor J. Cohen provide: (1) an explanation regarding how the first level of appellate review in Workers’ Compensation matters is currently handling retroactive application of Protz for cases where the injured worker has challenged his/her status during their 500 weeks; (2) a prediction as to how this appellate body will handle cases in which a challenge is made after 500 weeks; and (3) an opinion as to how the appellate courts should address the retroactive application of Protz moving forward.
Thus far, it is evident that injured workers who did not raise the constitutional issue during litigation are entitled to reinstatement to total disability as of June 20, 2017; however, the appellate body will not permit the reinstatement of benefits for petitions filed outside of the 500 week-period. Moving forward, it is clear to Mr. Stern and Mr. Cohen what should occur – the whole IRE process, and any consideration thereof, should be set to rest, placing all three classes of injured workers back on total disability status with preservation of their 500 weeks of partial disability benefits intact.

Thus far, it is evident that injured workers who did not raise the constitutional issue during litigation are entitled to reinstatement to total disability as of June 20, 2017; however, the appellate body will not permit the reinstatement of benefits for petitions filed outside of the 500 week-period. Moving forward, it is clear to Mr. Stern and Mr. Cohen what should occur – the whole IRE process, and any consideration thereof, should be set to rest, placing all three classes of injured workers back on total disability status with preservation of their 500 weeks of partial disability benefits intact.

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Riina Corrigan
Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano, LLP
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