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Pennsylvania Court Rules Injured Janitor Entitled to Workers’ Comp

Workers' Compensation is shown on the conceptual business photo

Attorneys who represent injured workers discuss how the legal process works

A Pennsylvania court recently ruled that a janitor injured on the job is eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits for his injuries, reversing two lower court rulings that initially denied the injured janitor’s request for compensation.

The case involves a janitor who fell and injured his left foot and ankle in 2018 while exiting a shuttle van operated by Glaxo Smith Klein, according to a news article published by Business Insurance. Glaxo Smith Klein is the company that occupied a building in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, where the janitor was assigned to work by his employer.

After sustaining the injury, the janitor applied for workers’ compensation benefits, but his employer denied the claim on the basis of the so-called “coming and going rule,” which states companies are not responsible for injuries sustained by workers traveling to or from work.

A Workers Compensation Judge and a Workers Compensation Appeal Board upheld the employer’s denial, stating that the janitorial services company had “no connection whatsoever” with its employees’ transportation to work.

But a Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court judge recently disagreed and ruled in the janitor’s favor. Specifically, the court ruled that the injured janitor was no longer commuting to work when the employee arrived at the front entrance of the building the janitor was assigned to clean. As a result, the injured janitor is entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

How does the system work in Pennsylvania?

As the above recent case illustrates, the workers’ compensation process in Pennsylvania can be extremely complicated. In the case of the injured janitor, for example, three different courts – Workers Compensation Judge, Workers Compensation Appeal Board, and the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court – each ruled on the case in the past three years.

If the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court had not ruled in the janitor’s favor, the injured worker would have had one last option – file an appeal with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. You must file an appeal with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court within 30 days of a Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court decision. In addition, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has the right to decide whether or not to hear a case. If the Supreme Court decides to not hear the case, the decision of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court is final.

Why it's worth getting a workers' comp attorney

Appealing a denied workers’ compensation claim can be a long, complicated legal process. Without the proper guidance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, you may not receive the benefits you rightfully deserve.

The dedicated legal team at Vellner Law, P.C. knows how to handle complicated legal cases in Pennsylvania. Our law firm has decades of experience representing injured workers in the Lehigh Valley and throughout Pennsylvania. As a result, we understand the ins and outs of state and federal law that apply to workers’ compensation claims. We know how the process works, and we have the knowledge, experience, and resources to skillfully guide your case through the legal system.

Discover how our law firm can help with your workers’ compensation claim. Contact us and schedule a free consultation today. We have two offices conveniently located in Bethlehem and Allentown, Pennsylvania, and we handle cases statewide.

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