Cases That Changed The Law

Insurance Companies Know We Are Willing to Fight for Our Clients’ Rights

We Are Leaders – Our Cases Change The Law

Other law firms follow the leaders; we are the leaders. For example, in 2018, Attorney Dan Siegel was counsel in multiple appeals that protected or extended the rights of injured workers and persons injured in car crashes. In fact, over the past decade, Attorney Dan Siegel has been counsel in workers’ compensation appeals that have assured or increased the benefits of more injured workers throughout Pennsylvania than any other attorney.

Our cases have changed the law, and we fight to protect and expand the rights of injured workers and other victims of negligence (including car crashes, slips and falls, and defective product claims) for over three decades. As a result, we can often settle cases that other firms can’t, assuring that our clients are fully compensated for their injuries. We also recognize that every case is different, and settle cases that should settle, take cases to trial that cannot settle, and will fight on appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Just consider some of the following cases highlighting our record of continuing success:

Kraayenbrink – The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ruled that workers’ compensation settlements cannot eliminate the rights of medical providers that are not parties to the agreement. This decision, like most of our cases, will impact every Pennsylvania workers’ compensation settlement and prevent insurance companies from unscrupulously taking advantage of medical providers. Click here to read the Court’s Opinion.

Protz – The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act’s impairment rating examination violated the Pennsylvania Constitution. By declaring this provision unconstitutional, the Supreme Court invalidated the arbitrary 500-week limit on wage losses that reduced the rights of the overwhelming majority of injured workers. Attorney Dan Siegel authored the friend of the court brief on behalf of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice.

Erie Insurance v. Bristol – The Pennsylvania Supreme extended the deadline (statute of limitations) for filing claims by underinsured motorists. Before this decision, the deadline for filing these claims was dramatically and arbitrarily limited. Click here to view Dan Siegel’s oral argument before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Verizon Pennsylvania Inc. v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Ketterer) – The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled that a physician must have an active clinical practice, i.e., the physician must provide preventive care and the evaluation, treatment and management of medical conditions, at least 20 hours per week, in order to be qualified to perform Impairment Rating Evaluations under Section 306(a.2)(1) of the Workers’ Compensation Act, 77 P.S. § 551.2(1).

Barnes v. Keller – The Pennsylvania Superior Court held that a jetter attached to a cargo van could be a “motor vehicle” under the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law, and disapproved of the fact that the trial judge failed to disclose that his spouse was employed as an attorney by the law firm representing the appellee.

Commonwealth v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Harvey) –  The Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the use of actuarial data to calculate pension offsets for injured employees who also receive pension benefits from a defined benefit plan. By not foreclosing a claimant’s ability to challenge the calculations and the assumptions underlying them, injured workers may still employ actuaries to establish when improper and inaccurate calculations form the basis for a claimed offset.

Philadelphia Gas Works v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Amodei) – The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court held that when an employer seeks an offset from workers’ compensation benefits for pension benefits paid to an injured employee, the offset must be calculated based upon the net amount of the benefits received by the worker.

Thorne v. Miller –  This is the first reported case in New Jersey to address the obligation of a driver who waves or signals another vehicle into traffic. The trial court held that a driver who
waves to another driver to proceed is under a duty of reasonable care that, at the least, requires the driver who waved to observe whether traffic conditions were such as to allow the other driver to proceed without accident; whether, in this case, the waving driver breached that duty and whether the breach was a proximate cause of the accident is for the jury.

Smith v. Pulcinella – The Pennsylvania Superior Court extended to general negligence cases the malpractice doctrine that, where the conduct of two or more tortfeasors causes an injury, and the damages cannot be reasonably apportioned among the negligent parties, any one of the tortfeasors may be held responsible for the entire verdict if that party’s negligence was a substantial contributing factor in causing the plaintiff’s injuries.

Curran v. Greate Bay Hotel & Casino – The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled when a verdict may be reduced under the Comparative Negligence Act, and also held that the failure to request the correction of an inconsistent jury verdict constitutes a waiver of any objection to the verdict.

Denny’s v. Workmen’s Compensation Appeal Board (Stanton) – ThePennsylvania Commonwealth Court specified which actions by employees  are in furtherance of an employer’s business, thus requiring an employer to provide worker’s compensation benefits to employees injured under the circumstances.

Walsh v. City of Philadelphia  The Pennsylvania Supreme Court defined the nature of permissible claims against municipalities under the Recreational Use of Land and Water Act, and outlined the standard for the types of injuries for which local governmental bodies are responsible for damages under the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act.

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