Limiting Attorney's Fees from the Date of the Entry of the Interlocutory Order

In Morgan Corporation v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Strock), 139 Pa. Commw. 520, 590 A.2d 1375 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1991), the claimant filed a petition to set aside a final receipt against his employer and its insurer. The employer and insurer denied the allegations and joined a second insurance company as an additional defendant, contending that it was the responsible carrier. Based on the insurers' agreement that the claimant was disabled, the Workers' Compensation Judge (WCJ) issued a Section 410 Interlocutory Order, setting aside the final receipt and directing both insurers to pay one half of the claimant's benefits. Ultimately, the WCJ held the employer and the initial insurer liable for payment of the benefits, as well as attorney fees for an unreasonable contest. On appeal, we affirmed the WCJ and the Board and rejected the insurer's argument for limited attorney's fees from the date of the entry of the Interlocutory Order because the employer's action forced the claimant to prove his case despite the fact that the employer had no basis for contesting the injury.