Rehearing may be granted for new evidence in a Workers’ Compensation claim
October 19, 2020
By Richard P. Gaitens, Esquire
In Mack v. Transport Workers of Philadelphia, the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) granted the claimant’s petition for a rehearing when a key witness was discovered to have new evidence in the case.
Daryl Mack died as the result of a heart attack sustained after a car accident. The Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) concluded that the accident did not occur during the scope of employment and denied the Fatal Claim Petition.
When Mr. Mack’s widow told the Union President of the decision, he informed her that he had instructed Mr. Mack, in the presence of other business agents, to conduct a special assignment concerning union business. Mrs. Mack had been unaware of this and the union president did not present evidence for the initial petition. The WCAB granted the petition for rehearing and instructed the WCJ to reopen the case and determine whether the evidence of the union president was relevant.
What does this mean? While a rehearing will not be granted to correct weak evidence, the WCAB does have the power to remand the case back to the WCJ to be reconsidered if evidence that may be relevant to the case is discovered and should be recorded.