South Dakota: Cumulative Trauma Doctrine Applies to Date of Injury, Not Date of Last Compensation Payment

South Dakota: Cumulative Trauma Doctrine Applies to Date of Injury, Not Date of Last Compensation Payment

The Supreme Court of South Dakota, affirming a trial court’s decision, agreed that the three-year statute of limitations set forth in SDCL 62-7-35.1 barred a claim where the injured employee’s report of accident occurred in 2000, the claim was accepted, the employer's last payment of benefits was on August 4, 2004, and the employee filed another first report of injury on October 5, 2009, based on the same injuries. The employee contended that the cumulative trauma doctrine should prevent the application of SDCL 62-7-35.1 to this case. Quoting Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law extensively in its discussion, the appellate court indicated that the cumulative trauma doctrine did not change SDCL 62-7-35.1's application to the case because the cumulative trauma doctrine applied to the date of injury, which was irrelevant to SDCL 62-7-35.1. Instead, the "date of the last payment of benefits" triggered the running of the statute of limitations under SDCL 62-7-35.1. And under SDCL 62-7-35.1, a claimant had three years from the date of the last payment of benefits to file a written petition for hearing.

Reported by Thomas A. Robinson, J.D.

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to lexis.com.

See Schuelke v. Belle Fourche Irrigation Dist., 2013 SD 82, 2013 S.D. LEXIS 141 (Nov. 26, 2013) [2013 S.D. LEXIS 141 (Nov. 26, 2013)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 50.01 [50.01]

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

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