Can You Pay a Non-Party Witness for His Time?

One issue that constantly comes up is whether you can compensate a non-party witness beyond the statutory minimum for his time by, for example, paying the witness for his lost time at work. The answer, it appears in Pennsylvania, is no. According to the case of Merva v. WC Board, 784 A.2d 222 (2001), every agreement to “pay any witness, expert or otherwise, any amount higher than the amount fixed by law [i]s illegal.” So, in Pennsylvania, you’re limited to paying the statutory amount set forth in 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. §5903, i.e. $.07 per mile and $5 per day. So much for brotherly love when we subpoena folks from our Philly office.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Bob Cosgrove at rcosgrove@wcmlaw.com.