§ 131.35. Amendments to pleadings.

 (a)  A party has the right to amend a pleading at any time in a proceeding before a judge, unless the judge determines that another party has established prejudice as a result of the amendment.

 (b)  Subsection (a) supersedes 1 Pa. Code § §  33.41, 33.42, 35.40 and 35.48—35.51.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  131.35 amended under sections 401.1 and 435(a) and (c) of the Workers’ Compensation Act (77 P. S. § §  710 and 991(a) and (c)); 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).

Source

   The provisions of this §  131.35 adopted March 29, 1991, effective March 30, 1991, 21 Pa.B. 1401; amended December 6, 2002, effective December 7, 2002, 32 Pa.B. 6043. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (289733) to (289734).

Notes of Decisions

   Prejudice

   The workers’ compensation judge’s decision not to allow an amendment to the claimant’s petition to include a specific loss claim after the close of the record because it would prejudice her employers by depriving them of a full and fair opportunity to litigate the issue of the alleged specific loss, was not abuse of discretion. Roberts v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board, 719 A.2d 847 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1998).

   An amendment to petition filed after expiration of statute of limitations is not per se prejudicial; party opposing amendment must show prejudice. Shafer v. Workmen’s Compensation Appeal Board, 621 A.2d 1125 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1993).

   The employer failed to establish that it would be prejudiced by the amendment of claimant’s petition setting forth an alternative theory of causation. The information upon which the amendment is based was in the employer’s possession since the original claim was filed. The claimant need not demonstrate the employer’s fraud as a basis for the amendment. Mauger and Co. v. Workmen’s Compensation Appeal Board, 598 A.2d 1035 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1991).

   Liberal Construction

   The rule allowing amendments to pleadings, like all rules governing pleadings in workers’ compensation cases, it is to be liberally construed. Thomas v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board, 787 A.2d 1128 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2001).



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