Filing a Claim for Hearing Loss at Work After the 3 Year Deadline

In School District of Philadelphia v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Hennegan), 751 A.2d 729 (Pa.Cmwlth. 2000), the claimant, who worked for employer as a shop teacher, stopped working in 1991. In August of 1995, he filed a claim for hearing loss benefits. The Workers' Compensation Judge (WCJ) concluded that Act 1 applied to the case and therefore denied benefits pursuant to the three year statute of limitations provided for in Section 306(c)(8)(viii). Claimant appealed to the Board, which reversed. The Board, relying on Anastasio v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (NGK Metals Corp.) 713 A.2d 116 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1997), petition for allowance of appeal denied, 557 Pa. 634, 732 A.2d 618 (1998), and Sellari v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (NGK Metals Corp.), 698 A.2d 1372 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1997), reasoned that the date of last exposure for statute of limitations purposes began to run on the date the claimant discovered that his hearing loss was related to his exposure to hazardous noise at work. Because his claim petition was filed within three years of the date his doctor told him his hearing loss was work-related, the Board concluded that the claimant's claim petition was timely filed. On appeal, we reversed and stated that: For statute of limitations purposes the last date of exposure to hazardous occupational noise begins the three year period in which a claimant must file his claim petition in order to be timely. Claimant's and the Board's reliance on Anastasio and Sellari is misplaced. In both of those cases, Act 1 was not applicable and, therefore, the date on which a claimant learned of the relationship between his hearing loss and his work environment was the operative date for statute of limitation purposes. That concept is no longer controlling in cases that arise under Act 1. See also Anchor Glass Container Corp. v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Temechko), 752 A.2d 448 (Pa.Cmwlth. 2000). Id. 751 A.2d at 731.