Case law Update | Pipeline Systems v. WCAB (Pa. Cmwlth. July 7, 2015) | PA Work Injury

July 8, 2015

Job entailed installation of pipelines and manholes for sanitation purposes.  There was a concrete pit with a ladder.  On 7/29/10, Claimant was working about 30 feet away when he heard someone call out “Man down... Jack fell!”  Claimant went over, down the ladder into the pit, and realized “Jack” was dead.  While climbing back up the ladder, Claimant passed out and fell back into the pit, about 20 feet down.  After being rescued and hospitalized, Claimant learned there had been methane gas in the pit, which he had not been told; nor had he been told to avoid the pit. 


NTCP issued on 8/11, then stopped on 10/27.  Claimant filed claim petition for injuries to multiple bodily injuries, including lung damage.  WCJ determined Claimant was within course/scope & WCAB affirmed.


CC:Affirm. Colins notes harsh SCOPA decision in Kmart (Pa. 2000) disapproving benefits for “Good Samaritans,” which led to GA amendment in 2003, now at 77 P.S. § 1031(a)(10).  Provision provides that an employee “remains an employee” and has not abandoned course of employment when he/she “goes to the aid of a person” even if rendering aid is not part of regular duties (like firefighters, police, etc.).  “Attempts to render aid to another do not, in and of themselves, constitute an abandonment of employment.”

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