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DAVID J. ORGAN v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (01/07/88)

decided: January 7, 1988.

DAVID J. ORGAN, JR., PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE, AND OFFICE OF BUDGET AND ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR & INDUSTRY, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of Office of Budget and Administration in case of Re: Payment of Attorney Fees/David J. Organ, dated January 23, 1986.

COUNSEL

Anthony C. Busillo, II, Mancke, Lightman & Wagner, for petitioner.

Robert J. Schwartz, Assistant Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Craig, Colins, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 112 Pa. Commw. Page 353]

David J. Organ, a recipient of benefits under both the Heart and Lung Act*fn1 and the Workmen's Compensation Act,*fn2 appeals a determination of the Office of Budget and Administration deducting from his salary the amount of the workmen's compensation award paid directly to his attorney.

The undisputed facts are established by documentary evidence in the record. Mr. Organ suffered a heart attack while employed as a state trooper, which resulted in his receiving benefits under the Heart and Lung Act. Mr. Organ also applied for and received workmen's compensation benefits.*fn3 Twenty percent of the award went directly to Mr. Organ's attorney, and the balance of the award went to the state police as required by the Heart and Lung Act. Mr. Organ later retired from the state police. Upon receipt of a retirement

[ 112 Pa. Commw. Page 354]

    and sick leave payment, he discovered that the Commonwealth had deducted from that money the amount of the workmen's compensation award which had been paid directly to his attorney.*fn4

After Mr. Organ protested this deduction, the Office of Budget and Administration ruled that the Heart and Lung Act requires that money paid directly to an attorney from the workmen's compensation award be credited to the Commonwealth as if paid by the state to the employee.

The issue is whether the portion of the workmen's compensation benefits paid directly to the attorney was constructively received by Mr. Organ and was therefore subject to recovery by the Commonwealth under the Heart and Lung Act.

Because the rules of statutory construction require a literal reading of the statute and because Mr. Organ never actually received the portion of the workmen's compensation benefits paid directly to his attorney, nor any benefit therefrom greater than what the state received, that ...


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