Michael A. Farrell has been practicing in the field of insurance defense litigation for 32 years. Mr. Farrell has focused his practice in defending employers and insurers in workers’ compensation matters for the past 20+ years. Mr. Farrell is certified as a specialist in the practice of workers’ compensation law by the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Section on Workers’ Compensation Law as authorized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Mr. Farrell is admitted to practice in all state courts in Pennsylvania, as well as the United States District Courts for the Middle and Eastern Districts of Pennsylvania. Mr. Farrell is also admitted to practice before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a member of the Dauphin County and Pennsylvania Bar Associations, where he is also a member of several sections related to workers’ compensation and civil litigation. He has published several articles and has taught several seminars relating to Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law.
Mr. Farrell received his undergraduate degree in government and foreign affairs from Hampden-Sydney College College, in Hampden-Sydney, Virginia. He is a 1984 graduate of the Dickinson School of Law, where he was a member of the Trial Moot Court Board.
Outside of the practice of law, Mr. Farrell spends time with his family, including his wife, four children and three grandchildren, and is an active member of Holy Name of Jesus Church in Harrisburg. His activities include exercise, golfing, softball and pickle ball.
- Penn State Dickinson School of Law, J.D.
- Hampden-Sydney College, B.A.
- Pennsylvania Bar
- U.S. District Court
- Middle District of PA
- Eastern District of PA
- U.S. Court of Appeals: Third Circuit
Articles & Media
Memorandum: Employer Provided Vaccination Programs and Compensability under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act
There is no Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court or Pennsylvania Supreme Court case law on the question of the compensability of an “injury” sustained as a result of an employer administered vaccination program, regardless of whether the program is voluntary or mandatory. However, there are several cases on point before the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board. The cases indicate that where the vaccination program is mandatory, then finding that the injury was in the course and scope of employment is basically automatic. Where the vaccine was administered by the employer through a voluntary vaccination program, the question turns on whether or not the employee was furthering the interests of the employer by voluntarily agreeing to an employer administered vaccination.
Mette, Evans & Woodside attorneys Kathryn L. Simpson, James L. Goldsmith and Michael A. Farrell were named as top attorneys in Pennsylvania by Super Lawyers. Attorney Victoria P. Edwards was also recognized by Super Lawyer as a Rising Star.
The Court decided in Attorneys Farrell and Edward’s favor that the Workers’ Compensation Judge does not have jurisdiction to review a Utilization Review Determination where the Provider under review fails to provide medical records to the reviewer. The Court also held that denying the Claimant the right to a hearing did not violate the Claimant’s right to due process because the Claimant does not have a property interest in his future medical treatment.
On June 20, 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed down its decision in Protz v. WCAB (Derry Area School District). The Protz decision rendered unconstitutional, Section 306(a)(2) of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, eliminating the use of an impairment rating evaluation in order to change the disability status of an injured worker from total to partial thereby limiting the injured worker to 500 weeks of benefits.