Can You Change/Amend the Description of a Work Related Injury to Include Additional Injury ?
In Samson Paper Company & Fidelity Engraving v. Worker's Compensation Appeal Board (Digiannantonio), 834 A.2d 1221 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2003), the employer issued an Notice of Compensation Payable (NCP) accepting liability for a neck and back strain.
Thereafter, the employer filed a termination petition, and during the course of the termination proceedings the claimant presented medical testimony indicating that she also sustained bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of the work incident.
The Workers' Compensation Judge (WCJ) credited the testimony of the claimant's medical expert, concluded that the claimant met her burden of proving that she suffered a carpal tunnel injury as a result of the work incident and added carpal tunnel syndrome to the description of the accepted work injury.
After the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (WCAB) affirmed, the employer appealed to our court, arguing inter alia that the WCJ erred in amending the description of the injury where the claimant had not filed a petition alleging that additional injury.
The court in Samson Paper considered the first paragraph of section 413(a) of the Act, 77 P.S. 771, which provides as follows:
A workers' compensation judge may, at any time, review and modify or set aside a notice of compensation payable and an original or supplemental agreement or upon petition filed by either party with the department, or in the course of the proceedings under any petition pending before such workers' compensation judge, if it be proved that such notice of compensation payable or agreement was in any material respect incorrect. 77 P.S. 771.