A Pennsylvania man who was injured while trying to break up a fight at a state juvenile prison where he worked is not entitled to workers’ compensation legal costs, a state appeals court ruled Tuesday.
A three-judge panel of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled Tuesday Jeffrey Chamberlin v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Board of Workers’ Compensation Appeals that the board was correct in upholding a workers’ compensation judge’s decision denying the lawyer compensation for his legal costs.
Mr Chamberlin was injured in 2015 after struggling with two residents of a youth detention center who were involved in a fight. He was approved for workers̵7; compensation approximately two months after the incident and subsequently went on total disability leave.
Four years later, at the request of the state, a workers’ compensation judge changed Chamberlin’s benefit status from total to partial disability due to an evaluation of the disability by a physician. Chamberlin appealed the decision, claiming a new arm injury was related to the workplace incident.
The Commonwealth Court affirmed the comp board’s decision that the additional biceps injury neither increased nor diminished Mr. Chamberlin’s total disability; that he was not entitled to legal costs because adding a biceps tenodesis to his work injury description provided no financial benefit; and that the independent rating evaluation provisions of Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act did not violate his rights under the state constitution because of the court’s prior ruling on that issue.