Thursday, April 30, 2015

PA Supreme Court says: NO Direct Action for Subrogation Recovery

The Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act provides a right of recovery where a compensable work injury is caused by a third party tortfeasor. The Employer is "subrogated" to the right of the employee against the third party tortfeasor, to the extent of benefits paid under the Act.
(See: Section 319).

The question arises: Can an Employer directly sue the third party tortfeasor?
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court provides an answer to this question at:
Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, as subrogee of George Lawrence v. Domtar Paper Co.,
No. 19 WAP 2014 decided April 27, 2015.

The Supreme Court reaffirmed the right of action against a third party tortfeasor remains in the injured employee and the Employer/Workers Compensation Insurer's right of subrogation under Section 319 must be achieved through a single action, brought in the name of the injured employee OR joined by the injured employee.

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