An initially unreported Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court decision was recently ordered to be reported, and to the substantial benefit of injured workers. Sharon Tube Co. v. W.C.A.B. (Buzard) reinforces the notion that the last bureau document in time is “controlling” with respect to the disability status of the claimant. Specifically, the court reinforced the principle that in a modification situation, the employer has the burden of showing that the employee’s disability has changed after the date of the last supplemental agreement.

The facts in Sharon Tube Co. are rather common. The claimant, Daniel Buzard, was injured on the job on Nov. 13, 1995, and began receiving compensation benefits consistent with a Workers’ Compensation Judges (WCJ) decision. On July 21, 2003, Buzard attempted a return to work, but was experiencing a wage loss. The employer unilaterally modified the claimant’s benefits to reflect his actual earnings and also sent the claimant a supplemental agreement dated July 25, 2003, signed by the employer’s representative. That supplemental agreement was never signed by the claimant. One week later, Buzard was taken out of work by his treating doctor.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]