Pennsylvania: Claimant Who Settles Claim and Then Receives Large Doctor’s Bill May Not Rescind Compromise and Release Agreement Based on Mistake

A claimant’s receipt of a doctor’s bill showing an unpaid balance due of $37,674, after he and the employer had signed a Compromise and Release agreement settling the claimant’s workers’ compensation claim for a lump sum payment of $ 9,900, was insufficient to support claimant’s contention that the agreement should be set aside and/or rescinded, held a Pennsylvania appellate court recently in Hoang v. Workers’ Comp. Appeal Bd. (Howmet Aluminum Casting, Inc., 2012 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 250 (Aug. 20, 2012). The court was unconvinced by claimant’s contention that there had been a mutual mistake of fact; claimant had failed to produce any credible evidence showing that the employer was mistaken regarding the unpaid medical bill at the time of settlement. Nor could claimant prevail on the basis of unilateral mistake. Claimant had shown no evidence that he communicated to the employer his belief that the C&R agreement did not apply to unpaid preexisting medical bills.

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