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Alaska: Employer Hit For Attorney’s Fees When IME Request Delays Surgery

December 07, 2016 (1 min read)

The Alaska Workers’ Compensation Board appropriately awarded an injured worker attorney’s fees pursuant to Alaska Stat. § 23.30.145(b), where a school bus driver underwent two spinal surgeries following a work-related accident and, about the same time that the driver was scheduled to undergo a third surgery, the employer scheduled an IME, delaying the planned surgery. The Court indicated the employer could have pursued its investigation according to the methods and timelines afforded it under the Act while simultaneously facilitating the quick and efficient delivery of medical benefits to the worker. Its failure to do so led the worker to file a written claim for medical benefits prior to both the in-person IME and the adjuster’s approval of the surgery. The Court concluded that there was more than enough evidence to support the Board’s finding that the employer’s actions delayed the worker’s compensable surgery.

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 Bockus v. First Student Servs., 2016 Alas. LEXIS 131 (Dec. 2, 2016)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 133.04.

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