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Nebraska: No “Waiting-Time Penalties and Fees” Where Employer Mailed Settlement Check to Wrong Address

March 30, 2018 (1 min read)

The Compensation Court correctly denied an injured worker’s request for waiting-time penalties and attorney fees where the employer mailed the second of two installments to the wrong address, but where the first check—also mailed to the incorrect address—was actually delivered by the USPS to the employee’s attorney. Here the parties settled the case under terms in which the employer agreed to make one payment of $15,000 and a second payment of $93,375.92. The first check was sent before the agreement was approved by the compensation court. The second was sent within a week of approval. Although the address used was the same as that for the first check, the second was not delivered and was instead returned to the employer. It issued a new check at the correct address, but the replacement was issued more than 30 days after the settlement agreement’s approval. The injured worker pointed to correspondence in the file that clearly said the payments should be sent to the new post office box and not old. The appellate court said the second installment was mailed well within the 30 days. While it was to the wrong P.O. Box, the address had worked the first time. The employer made diligent effort to send a replacement as soon as possible. Under these circumstances, the compensation court was justified in refusing to award penalties.

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 Rice v. Sykes Enters., 2018 Neb. App. LEXIS 59 (Mar. 27, 2018)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 135.02.

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