Bridge worker who collected comp in one state denied disability in secondReprints
A maintenance worker who was injured standing on the ground, vacuuming debris while working on a bridge between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, has had his disability claim denied in Pennsylvania after collecting workers compensation in New Jersey, according to a ruling filed in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania on Monday.
Zachary Kreschollek was working on a Benjamin Franklin Bridge improvement project when he injured his hand and back in September 2014. The bridge is owned by the Delaware River Port Authority, created through a compact between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with both states recognized as joint owners of the bridge, according to documents in Zachary Kreschollek v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Commodore Maintenance Corp.), filed in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
His employer, New York-based Commodore Maintenance Corp., accepted a workers compensation claim in New Jersey and paid benefits to Mr. Kreschollek, a Philadelphia resident who was paid temporary total disability benefits under New Jersey law from September 2014 through February 2016, documents state.
Two months later, in April 2016, he filed a claim petition in Pennsylvania for the same incident seeking ongoing disability benefits, alleging injuries to his "right upper extremity, right arm, right wrist, and right hand." He acknowledged that his employer had accepted his claim and paid benefits under New Jersey law. His lawyer also argued that the contract of hire was finalized in Pennsylvania, according to documents.
In December 2016, a workers compensation judge denied and dismissed the claim, concluding that the injuries did not fall under the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania law, finding that "there (was) no dispute that at the time the injury occurred (Claimant) was not on a bridge, and was not off the ground, but rather, it happened when his feet were planted firmly on the ground in the state of New Jersey."
The Workers’ Compensation Board later affirmed the ruling, as did the state’s commonwealth court on those same grounds, documents state.