State News : Pennsylvania

NWCDN is a network of law firms dedicated to protecting employers in workers’ compensation claims.

NWCDN Members regularly post articles and summary judgements in workers’ compensations law in your state.  

Select a state from the dropdown menu below to scroll through the state specific archives for updates and opinions on various workers’ compensation laws in your state.

Contact information for NWCDN members is also located on the state specific links in the event you have additional questions or your company is seeking a workers’ compensation lawyer in your state.



  (412) 904-5021

Notice Issue- Section 311 Business owned by Claimant.


Erie Insurance Property & Casualty v. Heater, No. 148 C.D. (2023)  (Pa Cwmlth -05/29/2024)


Where the Claimant is both the injured employee and employer/sole proprietor, the employer to whom the Claimant must provide notice of a work related injury  for compliance with Section 311 of the PA Workers Compensation Act, is the insurance company that bears the ultimate responsibility for the claim, which allows the insurer to complete a prompt and thorough investigation into the alleged work injury which would normally be performed by the employer. Claimant, David Heater, filed a work injury claim against his company, David W. Heater, a sole proprietorship for which he was employed. The WCJ granted his claim petition finding that he gave timely notice of his injury and that he was injured in the course and scope of his employment. Erie Insurance appealed to the Board which upheld the judge’s decision. Insurer then appealed to the PA Commonwealth Court arguing that Claimant should have been required to give notice to Insurer within 120 days of the injury and the judge’s finding that Claimant’s notice of the injury on himself, as Employer, was sufficient is inconsistent with the purpose of Section 311 of the Act, prejudicial to the Insurer and a violation of Insurer’s due process rights. Claimant responded that the Board did not err in affirming the WCJ’s decision because neither Section 311 of the Act, nor precedent interpreting that provision, required him to provide notice to the Insurer as the Employer received timely notice of the injury. The Commonwealth Court reversed the Appeal Board holding that under these circumstances where a claimant is both the injured employee and the sole proprietor/.employer, the “employer” to whom the claimant must notify of a work-related injury for the purposes of Section 311 in the insurer that bears the ultimate liability for the claim. This allows the insurer to ensure that prompt and complete investigation into the claimed injury, that would normally be performed by a disinterested employer, can be performed to protect stale claims, thereby meeting the purpose of Section 311. Because Claimant did not provide timely notice to Insurer under Section 311, “no compensation shall be allowed” and Claimant’s Claim petition is barred. 23-page decision by Hon. Renee Chon Jubelirer, President Judge.



Paul C. Cipriano Jr., Esquire

Rulis & Bochicchio, LLC