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Pennsylvania Supreme Courts Holds That Heart And Lung Benefits Are Not Subrogable When Police Officer Injured In Car Accident

Posted On Behalf of Schmidt Kramer Injury Lawyers on May 14, 2012 in General

On January 28, 2011 in  Oliver v. City of Pittsburgh announced its opinion in a case involving the interplay of subrogation and Pennsylvania Heart and Lung issues. The opinion of the unanimous Court addresses the issue of whether Heart and Lung Benefits (HLA) are subrogable under the Pennsylvania Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL) after a City of Pittsburgh police officer was injured in a car accident in 1996. The City argued that it was entitled to subrogation because the repeal of Section 1720 in 1994 in Act 44 Section 25(b) allowed subrogation in workers' compensation and Heart and Lung benefits are a form of workers compensation. The Supreme Court opinion by Justice Saylor adopts the plain language of Section 25(b) of Act 44 which repealed the anti-subrogation provision as it relates to “workers’ compensation payment or other benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act.”

Given the lack of any ambiguity the Court holds that “Section 25(b) repealed Sections 1720 of the MVFRL ‘insofar as [it] relate[d] to workers’ compensation payments or other benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act …. By its plain terms, such provision does not impact any anti-subrogation mandates pertaining to HLA benefits.” In light of its opinion, the Court does not address a second issue of whether an employee has immunity from its employer’s subrogation claim pursuant to Section 23 of Act 44?. For a copy of the Opinion feel free to contact Scott Cooper below. Scott B. CooperSchmidt Kramer PC209 State StreetHarrisburg, PA 17101(717) 232-6300 – Telephone(717) 232-6467 – Facsimilescooper@Schmidt Kramer.comwww.Schmidt Kramer.com Facebook.com/Schmidt KramerTwitter.com/TalkToALawyer