June 10th, 2022 by Rieders Travis in Workers' Compensation

Samantha Riemenschneider v. D. Sabatelli, Inc., 2022 Pa. Super. LEXIS 253 (June 7, 2022) (McLaughlin, J.)  David Scott Macleary was killed when the brakes failed on a dump truck he was operating and it began to roll.  He was within the course and scope of his employment.  A lawsuit was brought by his family, and it was dismissed based upon the exclusivity provision of the Workers’ Compensation Act.  Riemenschneider argued that she was within the class of individuals entitled to bring a claim under the Act.  The trial court determined that the exclusivity provision barred the suit and sustained POs.  The court relied upon Tooey v. AK Steel Corp., 81 A.3d 851 (2013).  Tooey held that injury that was outside the WCA’s statutory definition of a compensable injury could give rise to a suit in court.  Riemenschneider’s argument is that even though Macleary’s injury was compensable under the Workers’ Compensation Act, she ought to be allowed to bring suit in court because she is not among those claimants to whom the WCA provides benefits for that injury.  The WCA represents a legislative compromise under which employees injured in the course and scope of their employment and certain others may obtain benefits without a demonstration of fault.  The limitation on beneficiaries is one of the tradeoffs embodied in the WCA and Riemenschneider’s claim must yield to the statute’s plain language.

Attorney Cliff Rieders

Attorney Cliff RiedersCliff Rieders is a Nationally Board Certified Trial Lawyer practicing personal injury law. A large part of his practice involves multi-district litigation, including cases related to pharmaceuticals, vitamin supplements and medical devices. He is admitted in several state and federal courts, as well as the Supreme Court of the United States. Rieders is the past regional president of the Federal Bar Association and is a life member of the distinguished American Law Institute, which promulgates proposed rules adopted by many state courts. He is a past president of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. As a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, he served on the Board for 15 years.

Not only has Rieders held many highly esteemed, leadership positions, he authored legislation related to the Patient Safety Authority and the Mcare Act, which governs medical and hospital liability actions in Pennsylvania. He authored texts upon which both practitioners and judges rely, including Pennsylvania Malpractice Laws and Forms, and Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania, the latter governing auto and truck collisions in Pennsylvania. In addition, he wrote several books on the practice of law in Pennsylvania regarding wrongful death and survivor actions, insurance bad faith, legal malpractice claims and worker rights, among others. Rieders also serves as a resource to practitioners as a regular speaker for Celesq, an arm of the world’s largest legal publisher, Thomson Reuters West Publishing.

As recognition of his wide range of contribution to his profession and of his dedication to protecting the rights of his clients, he received numerous awards, among them the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, the Milton D. Rosenberg Award, the B’nai B’rith Justice Award, and awards of recognition from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. [ Attorney Bio ]



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