§ 131.3. Waiver and modification of rules.
(a) The judge may, for good cause, waive or modify a provision of this chapter, except as otherwise provided in § § 131.59b(a) and 131.202 (relating to mandatory mediation; and first hearing information and stay), upon motion of a party, agreement of all parties or upon the judges own motion.
(b) Subsection (a) supersedes 1 Pa. Code § § 33.61, 35.18, 35.54 and 35.55 and also supersedes 1 Pa. Code Chapter 35, Subchapter D (relating to motions).
The provisions of this § 131.3 amended under sections 401.1, 435(a) and (c) and 1608 of the Workers Compensation Act (77 P. S. § § 710, 991(a) and (c) and 2708); section 2205 of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. § 565); and section 414 of The Pennsylvania Occupational Disease Act (77 P. S. § 1514).
The provisions of this § 131.3 adopted November 6, 1981, effective November 7, 1981, 11 Pa.B. 4015; amended March 29, 1991, effective March 30, 1991, 21 Pa.B. 1401; amended December 6, 2002, effective December 7, 2002, 32 Pa.B. 6043; amended October 16, 2009, effective October 17, 2009, 39 Pa.B. 6038; amended December 19, 2014, effective December 20, 2014, 44 Pa.B. 7837. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (345972) to (345973).
Notes of Decisions
Employer does not argue how the late submission of the medical bills violated its due process rights or the notion of fair play. Employers argument addresses only that such submission was a clear violation of the Special Rules of Administrative Practice and Procedure Before Referees. A review of the introduced bills, which the referee permitted to be submitted into evidence reveals that they are, indeed, causally connected to the work injury and are reasonable and necessary. Since the referee has the discretion to waive the requirements of the special rules and employer has not shown any prejudice as a result, the referee did not err in permitting the introduction into evidence of those bills which were causally related to claimants work injury and were reasonable and necessary. Nevin Trucking v. Workmens Comp. Appeal Bd., 667 A.2d 262 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1995).
Waiver of Rules
Workers compensation claimant was not entitled to depose additional rebuttal expert in workers compensation proceeding, where claimant made deposition request approximately 1 week prior to scheduled close of record, employer objected to deposition, claimant had already deposed employers medical expert, and claimant had already deposed one rebuttal expert. Swigart v. W.C.A.B. (City of Williamsport), 131 A.3d 117 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2015).
Because parties act in reliance of various time limitations in the rules, it was error to retroactively modify the time requests of § 131.65 (relating to objections to taking of oral depositions) without agreement of all parties. Plaugher v. Workers Compensation Appeal Board, 814 A.2d 1278 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2003).
Although § 134.3 permits a workers compensation judge to waive or modify rules, the court looks with disfavor on oral amendment at the hearing to introduce new issues in special supersedeas cases. Hinkle v. Workers Compensation Appeal Board, 808 A.2d 1036 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2002), appeal denied 827 A.2d 1203 (Pa. 2003).
This section cited in 34 Pa. Code § 131.53a (relating to consolidated hearing procedure); 34 Pa. Code § 131.59b (relating to manadatory mediation); and 34 Pa. Code § 131.202 (relating to first hearing information and stay).
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