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Reed v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

April 21, 2015

Joseph Reed, deceased, Donna Palladino, Executor of the Estates of Joseph Reed and Alice Reed deceased, Petitioners
v.
Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Allied Signal, Inc. and it's successor in interest Honeywell, Inc. and Travelers Insurance Co.), Respondents

Submitted: November 26, 2014.

Page 465

Appealed from No. A12-0266. State Agency Workers' Compensation Appeal Board.

Robert J. Murphy, Philadelphia, for petitioners.

Michael T. Dolan, Philadelphia, for respondent Allied Signal, Inc./Honeywell.

BEFORE: HONORABLE BONNIE BRIGANCE LEADBETTER, Judge, HONORABLE PATRICIA A. McCULLOUGH, Judge, HONORABLE JAMES GARDNER COLINS, Senior Judge. OPINION BY SENIOR JUDGE COLINS.

OPINION

Page 466

JAMES GARDNER COLINS, Senior Judge

Donna Palladino (Claimant), Executrix of the Estates of Joseph Reed and Alice Reed, deceased, petitions for review of the May 2, 2014 order of the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Board) that affirmed the decision and order of the Workers' Compensation Judge (WCJ). The WCJ dismissed Claimant's Review, Modification and Reinstatement Petitions under the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act (Act),[1] because Claimant failed to disclose to Allied Signal, Inc., and its successor in interest Honeywell, Inc., and Travelers Insurance Company (Employer) the monetary amount received in a third-party settlement.[2] For the reasons that follow, we affirm the order of the Board.

By way of background, this Court previously issued an unpublished decision Reed v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Allied Corporation and Travelers Insurance Co., (Pa. Cmwlth., No. 688 C.D. 2006, filed April 4, 2007) ( Reed I ), which held, inter alia, that WCJ Seelig did not err in suspending partial benefits for the closed period of June 27, 1985 through November 29, 1990, until Claimant disclosed the amount of monies recovered in the third-party tort action. ( See also February 25, 2004 WCJ Decision, Finding of Fact (F.F.) ¶ 28, Conclusion of Law (C.L.) ¶ 6.) Claimant petitioned for allowance of appeal of Reed I, which our Supreme Court denied. Reed v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Allied Corporation and Travelers Insurance Co., 596 Pa. 721, 944 A.2d 759 (Pa. 2007) (order denying petition for allowance of appeal)). Reed I thoroughly reviewed the history and background of this

Page 467

case and we will not do so again beyond the following quotation from Reed I :

On or about July 31, 1985, [Joseph Reed] filed a Claim Petition alleging he sustained a work-related occupational disease in the nature of lung disease, shortness of breath, including, but not limited to, asbestosis on June 27, 1985, while in the course and scope of his employment as a pipe fitter for [Employer]. Employer filed a late answer denying the allegations. In a Decision and Order circulated February 18, 2004, the WCJ granted [Joseph Reed's] Claim Petition after finding Employer failed to file a timely answer. However, the WCJ suspended benefits as of November 29, 1990 after finding [Joseph Reed] failed to follow through on work that was available to him within his restrictions as of that date.

Reed I, (Pa. Cmwlth., No. 688 C.D. 2006, filed April 4, 2007). Not long after the conclusion of Reed I, Claimant filed the petitions at issue in the instant matter. Following a series of hearings, the WCJ issued a decision and order on January 27, 2012 dismissing Claimant's ...


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