The Blog

PA Supreme Court: «Abnormal Working Condition» Caused Trooper’s Trauma

supreme_seal_colorUnder Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation law, claims for mental injuries can be difficult to prove as the injured worker must show that an “abnormal working condition” existed to have caused the psychological trauma.  This is a burden for employees in some professions, such as paramedics and firemen, where stressful –and sometimes horrific – incidents are considered to be part of the job and not “abnormal.”  The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently ruled in a case where a Pennsylvania state trooper filed a claim for mental disability after experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from an incident where a mentally-impaired woman dashed in front of his patrol car, causing the trooper’s car to strike the woman.  The woman died after the trooper attempted to revive her using mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.  The trooper’s claim was granted by the workers’ compensation judge.  However, the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board reversed the Judge’s decision, reasoning that the incident did not represent an abnormal working condition for the trooper’s “stressful and perilous profession.”  The Commonwealth Court affirmed the Appeal Board’s decision. However, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed the Commonwealth Court and held that the trooper is entitled to benefits.  The Supreme Court found that the specific facts of this tragic accident rose above even the normal stressful duties of police work and that the experiences of this trooper in this incident were not part of what can normally be expected in the line of duty.

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PA Commonwealth Court: Massage Therapy by LPN is Reimbursable

commonwealth court logoIn a recent decision, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court held that massage therapy by a licensed practical nurse is reimbursable by the workers’ compensation carrier.

The employer in Moran v. WCAB (McCarthy Flowers and Donegal Mutual Insurance) argued that massage therapy did not fall under the duties of a licensed practical nurse.

The Court rejected this argument.  The massage therapy was prescribed by a physician and the practical nurse had received instruction in massage therapy as part of her training as an LPN.

Significantly, the Court also noted that the employer had not provided any evidence that massage therapy did not  come under the duties of an LPN.

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Halmon L. Banks Presented with Clients’ Choice Award

avvo clients choice award, an online legal forum and directory has presented Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer and Banks Law founder, Halmon L. Banks, III with the 2013 Clients’ Choice Award for his work representing injured workers in Pennsylvania. presents the Clients’ Choice award to attorneys based on the quantity and quality of client reviews that the attorney receives on his or her online profile.

“I am honored to receive this award. Client service is the foundation upon which Banks Law was built, and this award is a testament to our commitment to our clients. I am truly proud that we have been able to help so many injured workers in the Philadelphia area receive the compensation they deserve,” said Banks.

Avvo was founded in Seattle in 2007.  According to the website, Avvo contains listings and ratings for more than 90 percent of all licensed attorneys in a number of practice areas throughout the United States.

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