§ 131.36. Joinder.

 (a)  A party desiring to join another defendant to assert a claim relevant to the pending petition may do so as a matter of right by filing a petition for joinder.

 (b)  A petition for joinder shall set forth the identity of employers and insurance carriers sought to be joined and the reasons for joining a particular employer or insurance carrier as well as the specific facts and the legal basis for the joinder.

 (c)  The petition for joinder shall have attached to it copies of petitions and answers previously filed and a list of the dates and locations of all prior hearings held and depositions taken.

 (d)  The petition for joinder form shall be filed with the Department no later than 20 days after the first hearing at which evidence is received regarding the reason for which joinder is sought, unless the time is extended by the judge for good cause shown.

 (e)  An answer to a petition for joinder shall be filed in accordance with section 416 of the act (77 P. S. §  821) within 20 days after the date of assignment by the Department to the judge and may include a motion to strike.

 (f)  A party filing a petition for joinder or an answer to it shall serve unrepresented parties and counsel of record.

 (g)  A proof of service shall be attached to the petition for joinder or answer.

 (h)  After joinder, the original petition shall be deemed amended to assert a claim of the claimant against an additional defendant. The additional defendant is liable to any other party as the judge orders. The additional defendant shall have the same rights and responsibilities under this chapter as the original defendant.

 (i)  The judge may strike the petition for joinder, and the judge may order the severance or separate hearing of a claim presented therein, or as a result of the joinder.

 (j)  The judge will issue an order when the motion to strike a petition for joinder is granted.

 (k)  An order to strike a petition for joinder does not preclude or delay further proceedings before the judge.

 (l)  Subsections (a)—(k) supersede 1 Pa. Code § §  31.5, 33.41, 33.42, 35.11, 35.35, 35.40, 35.48—35.51, 35.54 and 35.55 and also supersede 1 Pa. Code Chapter 35, Subchapter D (relating to motions).

Authority

   The provisions of this §  131.36 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).

Source

   The provisions of this §  131.36 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 December 19, 2014, effective December 20, 2014, 44 Pa.B. 7837. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (345988) to (345990).

Notes of Decisions

   Answer to Joinder Petition

   An additional defendant’s duty to file an answer is permissive, not mandatory; therefore, the failure to timely file an answer to a joinder petition does not result in deemed admission to the allegations in the joinder petition. E.W. Bowman, Inc. v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board, 809 A.2d 447 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2002), order affirmed 844 A.2d 1216 (Pa. 2004).

   Denial of Petition

   Although an additional party was joined, since, simultaneous therewith, the workers’ compensation judge denied the claim petition after finding the claimant was not disabled due to a work-related occupational disease, the additional defendant was not subject to the claims as provided in §  131.36(i). Neidlinger v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Bd., 798 A.2d 334 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2002).

Cross References

   This section cited in 34 Pa. Code §  131.33 (relating to answers except answers to petitions for joinder and challenge proceedings).



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