Duquesne Law Review


Edward J. Mills


Section 301(a) of the Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act, which provides that employers shall be liable for injuries or death of employees, has increasingly been interpreted to include disability stemming from emotional stress alleged to be work-related. The author examines the complex issues involved in determining whether such disability should rightly be considered an "injury," and thus compensable, under the Act. After a general discussion of the policy motivations behind workmen's compensation programs, the author turns to the inherent problem of proving the causative agents of mental disability. Following this discussion, the author conducts a survey of recent commonwealth court decisions which deal with this form of disability. In conclusion, the author recommends a specific standard that should be applied in emotional stress cases which would work to prudently limit claims in this developing area.

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