The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania recently accepted petitions for allowance of appeal in two similar cases—Landis v. A.W. Chesterton Co.1 and Tooey v. AK Steel Corp.2—to address whether the exclusivity provision in the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act ("WC Act") bars the tort claims of former employees who develop occupational diseases more than 300 weeks after employment. If, under the plain language of the statute, the court finds that the WC Act bars recovery in tort for such claims, the state supreme court will also be addressing whether the WC Act is constitutional.
Background of Cases
The WC Act bars employees' tort claims against their former employers for injuries defined and covered by the WC Act. The WC Act, however, provides limitations on such compensation. One of these limitations is that an employee is not entitled to compensation for an occupational disease that manifests 300 weeks after the date of last employment in the industry where the employee was exposed to the hazards causing the disease.
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