Workplace injury is a serious risk in everyday life. Perhaps with that in mind, an appeals court in Pennsylvania recently ruled that the diocese of Allentown was responsible for paying all of the medical costs of one of its injured employees. The slip-and-fall case involved a 72-year-old diocesan priest, and the Allentown diocese, which self-insures for workers’ compensation, claimed it was not responsible for 100 percent of the bills charged by the Lehigh Valley Health Network for the care given to the injured man.
The total cost of in-patient care was reportedly $406,338.79. The diocese paid only $142,196, refusing to pay the Lehigh Valley Health Network more than $260,000. The workers’ compensation hearing officer ruled that the diocese owed the full amount. The diocese appealed the ruling and lost.
This case suggests how work injuries can leave one not only physically damaged but emotionally unsettled. Pennsylvania residents struggling with being compensated for an on-the-job injury should have a firm understanding of all the related legal issues. It is important to have all the facts concerning worker compensation law.
Individuals who have been injured at work must prepare themselves and their loved ones to face the emotional and financial hardship of being in this situation. But they must also formulate a plan for dealing with it. There are options, such as seeking sound legal counsel, which can help victims and their families get through the emotional strain of a worker compensation dispute. At the very least, workers in any field should not have to shoulder the additional financial burdens of on-the-job injuries that result in lost wages and high medical bills.
Source: ncronline.org, “Pennsylvania diocese loses workers compensation appeal,” Tom Gallagher, Oct. 31, 2011