The opinion of the court was delivered by: Senior Judge Friedman
Submitted: August 27, 2010
BEFORE: HONORABLE RENÉE COHN JUBELIRER, Judge, HONORABLE P. KEVIN BROBSON, Judge, HONORABLE ROCHELLE S. FRIEDMAN, Senior Judge.
Allegis Group and Broadspire (together, Employer) petition for review of the April 26, 2010, order of the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (WCAB), which affirmed the decision of a workers' compensation judge (WCJ) to grant Anthony Coughenaur's (Claimant) penalty petition. We vacate and remand.
After holding hearings on Claimant's penalty petition, the WCJ made the following findings of fact.
1.) This court issued a Decision approving a Compromise & Release Agreement in this matter. The Decision was circulated on October 17, 2008.
2.) The claimant never received his lump sum payment of $60,000, as agreed to by the Compromise & Release, until December 10, 2008.
3.) The original check was sent to the wrong address. A stop payment order was issued[,][*fn1 ] and the claimant did receive the agreed and approved amount of the check.
4.) The claimant lived at 631 Wolfe Hole Rd, Halifax, PA 17032, Dauphin County when the current litigation commenced.
5.) The claimant had previously lived at an address in Etters, PA and at another address in Hummelstown, PA.
6.) The record reveals that AIG was the Insurance Carrier and because of the size of the check, the Adjuster, Catherine Massa, testified that Broadspire Services, a Crawford Company, and the third party administrator[,] had to wait until AIG put the money in the account before the check could be issued.
7.) Catherine Massa testified on cross examination that she "did not see a difference in the address at that time." She admitted that she failed to make a note of the address change.
8.) This Judge finds as a Fact that the failure to have this check issued on time caused a severe hardship to this claimant.*fn2
(WCJ's Findings of Fact, Nos. 1-8.) Based on these findings, the WCJ imposed a 35% penalty on Employer. Employer appealed to the WCAB, which affirmed. ...