Workers Comp for a Disability Which Lasted Less Than 7 Days

In Darrall v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (H.J. Heinz Company), 792 A.2d 706 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2002), H.J. Heinz Company (Heinz) filed a notice of workers' compensation denial declining to pay Darrall's workers' compensation benefits for a work-related injury that occurred on January 18, 1999, because it contended that Claimant's disability lasted less than seven days. The notice of denial indicated that Heinz agreed to pay Darrall's reasonable, related and necessary medical expenses. Darrall filed a claim petition and a penalty petition and the case proceeded before the Workers' Compensation Judge (WCJ). After hearings, the WCJ granted the claim petition for a closed period and suspended benefits based on Darrall's ability to perform a light-duty job. Citing Lemansky v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Hagan Ice Cream Company), 738 A.2d 498 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1999), Darrall asserted, inter alia, that the WCJ erred by failing to grant her penalty petition since Heinz failed to issue a notice of compensation payable in violation of Section 406.1 of the Act. This Court rejected Darrall's claim for attorney fees noting that Heinz did nothing improper. The parties disagreed as to the length of Darrall's disability. Heinz filed a notice of denial and Darrall filed a claim petition. Lemansky was not applicable to the facts in Darrall since in Lemansky, the employer did not issue any kind of notice, whereas Heinz did "take action" under Section 406.1 by timely issuing a notice of denial. Darrall, 792 A.2d at 714-715.