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ERNEST R. MCDANIEL v. REXNORD (02/10/88)

filed: February 10, 1988.

ERNEST R. MCDANIEL
v.
REXNORD, INC. APPEAL OF HANLEY BRICK, INC., PETITIONER. ERNEST R. MCDANIEL AND HELEN R. MCDANIEL V. RICHARD MORRIS AND RALPH YOUNG. APPEAL OF HANLEY BRICK, INC., PETITIONER



Appeal from the Order entered March 19, 1987 in the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Jefferson County, No. 18-1981 C.D. and No. 23-1981 C.D.

COUNSEL

Louis C. Long and David H. Patterson, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

H. John Drayer, Clarion, for McDaniel, appellees.

John G. Gent, Erie, for Rexnord, appellee.

Rowley, Del Sole and Montgomery, JJ.

Author: Rowley

[ 371 Pa. Super. Page 33]

Appellant Hanley Brick, Inc. appeals from an order denying its petition to intervene.*fn1 We affirm.

Ernest R. McDaniel ("McDaniel"), an employee of appellant Hanley Brick, Inc. ("Hanley"), was allegedly injured when he was exposed to a toxic chemical during the course of his employment. The chemical was manufactured by Rexnord, Inc. ("Rexnord").

McDaniel brought suit against Rexnord (No. 18-1981 C.D.), and with his wife, brought a separate action against two co-employees, Richard Morris and Ralph Young (No.

[ 371 Pa. Super. Page 3423]

-1981 C.D.). Additionally, McDaniel pursued a workmen's compensation claim which has resulted in payments by appellant's insurance carrier, State Workmen's Insurance Fund ("SWIF"), to McDaniel.

Through negotiation, McDaniel and Rexnord reached a proposed settlement (R.R. at 7a) of the case against Rexnord. Under terms of the settlement, Rexnord is to pay McDaniel $62,500 "contingent upon the Court's approval of the settlement and the discharge of any liability that Rexnord has or did have to Ernest McDaniel or Helen R. McDaniel, his wife, and the Workman's (sic) Compensation carrier responsible for workman's compensation payments to Mr. McDaniel" (R.R. at 8a and 11a). The settlement was made possible, in part, by SWIF's agreement to accept the sum of $12,000 in satisfaction of its subrogation interest (R.R. at 9a). Further, all claims against defendants Morris and Young in the other lawsuit would be released.

Appellant, McDaniel's employer, filed a petition to intervene*fn2 in the two civil actions in order to oppose the proposed settlement, on the theory that appellant, and not it's carrier, SWIF, is in fact the subrogated party. Appellant acknowledges that an employer ordinarily does not have standing to intervene in an action involving its employee and the employer's insurance carrier. However, appellant argues that due to the nature of its retrospective premium policy with SWIF, it has a "legally enforceable interest" which gives it the right to intervene ...


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