Is a Consent Order Between a Woman and a Deceased Man Binding In Worker's Compensation Death Benefits Cases ?

Is a Consent Order Treating Relationship Between a Woman and a Deceased Man as Husband and Wife Binding Upon Parties for Worker's Compensation Death Benefits ? In Allison Park Contractors, Inc. v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Wagner), 731 A.2d 234 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1999), a woman made a claim for workers' compensation death benefits. In support of her claim, she submitted a copy of an order entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County by which she and the parents of the deceased consented to treat the relationship between herself and him as that of husband and wife for the purpose of settling his estate. The Court agreed with the Employer's contention that that consent order was not binding upon the parties in the workers' compensation proceeding because "there was no evidentiary hearing and adjudication by the common pleas court that Claimant was the common law wife of the Decedent." 731 A.2d at 236.