McHenry v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 2023 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 191 (November 14, 2023) (Dumas, J.).
The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company (Goodyear) appeals by permission from the order entered by the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas (trial court) on January 20, 2022, which denied without prejudice Goodyear’s motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Upon review, the matter is largely controlled by this Court’s recent decision in Herold v. University of Pittsburgh, 291 A.3d 489 (Pa. Cmwlth.), appeal granted (Pa., No. 94 WAL 2023, filed October 13, 2023), which recognized an exception to the exclusive remedy defined in the workers’ compensation system when latent occupational disease is not compensable. Thus, for the following reasons, we affirm.
In Herold, this Court recognized an exception to the ODA exclusivity provision rooted in plain statutory language that limited compensable disability or death to occupational disease that manifests within four years. In this case, we expand upon that exception to hold that where a former employee’s occupational disease is not compensable because it did not result in total disability such as would trigger the ODA savings clause, that former employee is not subject to the exclusive remedies defined in the ODA and may proceed with civil proceedings filed in the courts of common pleas.
Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s order and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.