Workers' Compensation

California: Seven-Year Delay in Filing Claim Excused Where Employer and Insurer Failed to Provide Injured Employee With Required Notices Regarding Rights to File

The Court of Appeal of California (2nd Appellate Dist.), affirming an order of the WCAB, held that affirmative defense of laches was not available to insurer in spite of the fact that the employer’s claim for workers’ compensation benefits was filed more than seven years after accident. Observing that the employer received notification of the employee’s injury on day after the injury occurred, the Court said such notice to, or knowledge of, the workplace injury on the part of the employer was deemed to be notice to, or knowledge of, the insurer. Neither the employer nor insurer ever provided the employee with the required claim form and notice of potential eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. Since the insurer was constructively on notice of the employee’s injury and never provided the employee with the required claim form and notice of potential eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits, there was no delay at all by applicant in filing the claim.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Truck Insurance Exchange v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd., 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 666 (Aug. 11, 2016)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 126.03.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law