An injured worker cannot revoke a workers compensation compromise and release agreement he made with his employer to obtain medical marijuana that became legal in the state two years after the agreement was made.
In Lehigh Specialty Melting Inc. v. Workers Compensation Appeal Board, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court on Tuesday reversed and remanded a workers compensation board’s finding that the worker did not have to hold up his end of the agreement.
Joseph Bosco sprained his low back and herniated a disc while at work and his employer, Lehigh Specialty Melting Inc. accepted the claim. They entered into a C&R agreement, which was approved by a workers compensation judge in 2014. In the agreement, the employer agreed to pay medical expenses associated with the injury until it funded a Medicare Set Aside arrangement approved by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
However, Mr. Bosco refused to sign the MSA paperwork because the agreement did not cover medical marijuana.
A workers compensation judge found that Mr. Bosco was “attempting to re-write” the agreement and held that the company could send him a check for the value of the MSA and end its obligation to him if he still refused to sign the documents. A workers compensation board reversed the decision, holding that the judge had no authority to require Mr. Bosco to sign the MSA paperwork.
Lehigh Specialty appealed, and the court reversed the board’s decision. The court noted that Mr. Bosco testified that he understood the terms of the settlement and signed off on its approval by the workers comp judge and did not have the ability to now refuse “to cooperate as he had promised in the C&R because the MSA and/or employer will not pay for his use of medical marijuana.”