Employer’s Subrogation Rights Expanded Again

The recently decided case Davis v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Pennsylvania Social Services Union), No. 216 C.D. 2015, once again solidified an Employer’s right to subrogation against a 3rd party insurance payout. The Commonwealth Court framed the question as “whether the employer and its carrier are entitled to subrogation against the uninsured motorist benefit recovery from a non-negligent co-employee’s personal automobile policy for which the employer did not pay.” It answered in the affirmative. This ignores the causation element of § 319 (“Where the compensable injury is caused in whole or in part…”), which was the basis of the claimant’s appeal. Whether damages for pain and suffering could have been excluded from the employer’s subrogation was specifically not addressed, as noted in a footnote in the case. ~Joshua Slavin, Esq.