Duquesne Law Review


David B. Torrey


In Heckendorn v. Consolidated Rail Corp., the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that an employer which has paid workmen's compensation payments to an injured employee is entitled to full subrogation to a recovery made by the employee against a tortious third party, regardless of allegations of negligence on the employer's part. After discussing the interpretive history of the subrogation and non-joinder provisions of the Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act, the author examines whether, as has been suggested by Professor Arthur Larson, a policy such as that created in Heckendorn results in "too absolute a victory for the employer." The author concludes that the Heckendorn court has reached not only a correct interpretive conclusion, but one that is necessary both to vindicate the workmen's compensation "bargain" entered into between employers and employees, and to maintain an environment conducive to the continuing economic viability of Pennsylvania employers.

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