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Workers' Compensation

South Dakota: Department of Labor Construed State's "No Progress" Rule Too Narrowly

In a case of first impression, the Supreme Court of South Dakota held that the state's Department of Labor had erred when it determined that there had been no activity in the record of a case for more than one year, such that the claim could be dismissed pursuant to S.D. Admin. R. 47:03:01:09, South Dakota's "no progress" rule. The high court noted that the record was clear that the claimant had engaged in a vocational rehabilitation program less than five months before the employer filed it motion to dismiss. Noting further that neither "activity" nor "good cause" were defined within the rule, the Court said the Department of Labor and the Circuit Court that had affirmed the Department's decision had read the rule too narrowly. The Department had concentrated too much on whether the claimant's counsel had been responsive to counsel for the employer and not enough on what the claimant had been doing outside the actual court record.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the 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 LaPlante v. GGNSC, Madison S.D., LLC, 2020 SD 13, 2020 S.D. LEXIS 27 (Mar. 18, 2020)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 126.13.

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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