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Court: Man can't get workers' comp from a second state

While New Jersey and Pennsylvania share many infrastructure projects, that doesn't mean that people who suffer injuries while working on them can seek workers' compensation from both states. That's what one man has learned after a recent ruling by a Pennsylvania court.

The man was working on improvements to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge back in September 2014, vacuuming debris on the ground, when he was injured. The Delaware River Port Authority owns the bridge, which is considered to belong to both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The worker, who lives in Philadelphia, filed a workers' compensation claim with his employer, Commodore Maintenance Corp., which is headquartered in New York. He was paid benefits for what was deemed a temporary total disability under New Jersey law. He received those benefits through February 2016.

Two months after those payments ended, the man filed a workers' compensation claim in Pennsylvania for the same injuries. He stated that his "right upper extremity, right arm, right wrist, and right hand" were injured in the accident.

That Pennsylvania claim was denied by a workers' compensation judge later that year. The judge ruled that "there (was) no dispute that at the time the injury occurred (Claimant) was not on a bridge…but rather, it happened when his feet were planted firmly on the ground in the state of New Jersey."

The man's attorney asserted that the contract he was working under was finalized in Pennsylvania. However, Pennsylvania's Workers' Compensation Board affirmed the judge's ruling. In this latest ruling this month, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania upheld that denial.

Typically, workers' compensation boards in two different states aren't likely to agree to pay benefits for the same injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries on the job and there's any question about which state is responsible for paying your claim, it's wise to seek legal guidance.

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