Comp judge must consider testimony of out-of-state investigator
Richard Brill v. Drexel University, 24 PAWCLR 19 (WCAB 01/27/09).
Ruling: The Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Board vacated a workers' compensation judge's grant of the claimant's claim petition and remanded for consideration of the employer's private investigator.
What it means:
The mere fact that a licensed individual, such as a private investigator, is licensed by a state other than Pennsylvania is irrelevant to his testimony.
The board determined that the WCJ erred in failing to consider the testimony of a private investigator who surveilled the claimant. The WCJ had ruled that the testimony of the employer's private investigator, who was licensed in New Jersey, was inadmissible because he was not licensed in Pennsylvania.
The board concluded that the WCJ should have considered the private investigator's testimony, finding that the fact he was licensed in another state was irrelevant to his testimony. The board noted that the exclusion of testimony based on licensing in other states would preclude expert opinion from physicians who may be licensed in other states.
In the board's opinion, the purpose of licensing was to guarantee the public that a certain amount of training, expertise and accountability was held by those offering a particular service, and the private investigator was hired because of his experience and training.
March 23, 2009
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