Is An Order Denying An Employer's Petition for a Physical Examination Appealable ?

In H.K. Porter Co., Inc. v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Bd., 100 Pa. Commw. 393, 514 A.2d 996, 998-99 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1986) (Porter), the Court ruled on the appealability of an order denying an employer's petition for a physical examination of claimant filed pursuant to Section 314 of the Workers' Compensation Act (Act). The employer filed this petition with the Board as part of an ongoing proceeding on employer's primary petition seeking to resolve whether claimant's injury was a new injury or an aggravation of a prior injury. When the Board denied the petition for physical examination, the employer appealed to this Court, arguing that the Board should have assigned the Section 314 petition to a referee for an evidentiary hearing. H.K. Porter, 514 A.2d at 998. On appeal, this Court held that the Board's order denying employer's Section 314 petition was interlocutory because the order was filed as part of a pending proceeding on employer's primary petition; thus, the employer continued to have the opportunity to appeal the Board's order. Id. at 999. In addition, the Court concluded that this holding was practical, because to hold otherwise would "have the effect of interrupting the proceedings before the referee pending the outcome of the Board's decision." Id. Therefore, the Court ruled that a decision on an order to compel medical examination was interlocutory because it could be appealed together with the merits of the primary petition. Id.