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South Dakota: Injured Worker’s Letter Requesting “Review of Benefits” Insufficient to Toll Statute of Limitations

August 30, 2021 (1 min read)

Despite the general informality associated with pleadings, petitions, and other procedural matters related to workers’ compensation claims, a worker’s letter to his employer’s workers’ compensation carrier, with a copy to the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, asking the carrier to “review his benefits” was insufficient to be considered a petition for benefits, held the Supreme Court of South Dakota. The Department determined that his letter was insufficient because ARSD 47:03:01:02 required a petition to include all of the information listed in the rule. The letter did not clearly identify a specific injury for which the worker was seeking compensation, the time and place of a specific accident, the manner in which the accident occurred, the nature and extent of the disability, and an allegation that the employer had received proper notice of the injury. The Court agreed that since the letter lacked that information, it could not be utilized as a petition and the statute of limitations was not tolled.

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

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See May v. Spearfish Pellet Co., LLC, 2021 SD 48, 2021 S.D. LEXIS 89 (Aug. 18, 2021)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 124.04.

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

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see

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