Pennsylvania Gas Drilling Work Injury

Date: November 10, 2014

Question: Fred had worked for a Texas-based natural gas drilling company for a number of years. The company started to develop drilling sites in Northeastern and North-Central Pennsylvania, and Fred’s company provided him with a hotel room a few miles from the drilling site. The hotel, however, was located in New York State just over the Pennslyvania border. Fred had enjoyed a long successful work history with his employer despite the fact that his work involved very strenuous physical activity. Unfortunately, Fred’s good fortune ran out whn he severly injured his shoulder working on a drill rig at a Pennsylvania drilling site. Fred’s employer insisted that Fred had two choices: (1) Because Fred was staying in New York while working, the workers comp claim should be filed in New York OR (2) Because Fred was employed out of Texas and the employer was based out of Texas, then Fred would have to file his comp claim under Texas law.

Issue: Is Fred’s employer correct?

Answer: No. In Pennsylvania, regardless of where an employer is principally located, where a contract for hire was entered into, and where an employee is “staying”, if an injury occurs in Pennsylvania, then Pennsylvania has jurisdiction. Therefore Fred will be entitled to benefits under Pennsylvania law. Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation benefits are, for the most part, far more generous, and the injured worker is provided far more protection than in other states, especially states in the South and Midwest.

If you’ve suffered a work injury and have questions about your claim, contact me at or call (570) 347-1011 for a free consultation.


Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.