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Judges: 2-year statute of limitations doesn't apply

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The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of a medical group’s application for adjustment of claim for provider fee, finding the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board erred by ruling the application was filed outside the statute of limitations.

The appellate court addressed this issue in three separate rulings today, including Indiana Spine Group PC v. Pilot Travel Centers LLC, No. 93A02-1003-EX-315. Indiana Spine Group had provided medical treatment in July and October 2004 to an employee of Pilot Travel Centers for work-related injury. Pilot paid only a portion of the balance of this treatment, with the last payment coming in June 2008.

In June 2009, ISG filed an application for the balance owed; Pilot sought a dismissal because it believed the application was filed outside the two-year statute of limitations of the date in which compensation was last paid to the employee specified in Indiana Code Section 22-3-3-27. The full board affirmed the dismissal by the single hearing member for lack of jurisdiction based on the two-year statute of limitations.

The statute in question establishes a two-year limit for the “modification” of an award due to a “change in conditions,” which begins to run on the last day for which compensation was paid to the injured employee. The Pilot employee was last compensated in August 2006.

But this statute of limitation doesn’t apply because there were no changed conditions requiring a modification of the worker’s compensation benefits to the employee, wrote Judge Ezra Friedlander. The Worker’s Compensation Act is silent on the statute of limitations applicable to claims involving the pecuniary liability of employers to medical service providers.

The appellate court declined to apply the statute of limitations in I.C. Section 22-3-3-27 because it could lead to absurd results, such as leaving medical service providers little incentive to treat injured workers under the act once an employee’s permanent partial impairment was established.

“While a medical service provider is able to determine the date of an injured employee’s accident, the provider does not generally have ready access to the dates of compensation to the employee, which vary widely from case to case,” wrote the judge. “Rather, a statute of limitations for claims like that asserted by ISG would seem to be more appropriately related to the date of service. We leave that decision, however, as well as the appropriate length of the limitations period, for the Legislature.”

The Court of Appeals reversed the decision and remanded so that ISG can have a determination on the merits of its application. The appellate court reached the same conclusion in the not-for-publication opinions Indiana Spine Group v. All Seasons Holdings, No. 93A02-1003-EX-316, and Indiana Spine Group v. Scenic Hills Care Center, No. 93A02-1003-EX-313.



 

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  1. "So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)" Well, you know, we're just following in the footsteps of our founders who raped women, raped slaves, raped children, maimed immigrants, sold children, stole property, broke promises, broke apart families, killed natives... You know, good God fearing down home Christian folk! :/

  2. Who gives a rats behind about all the fluffy ranking nonsense. What students having to pay off debt need to know is that all schools aren't created equal and students from many schools don't have a snowball's chance of getting a decent paying job straight out of law school. Their lowly ranked lawschool won't tell them that though. When schools start honestly (accurately) reporting *those numbers, things will get interesting real quick, and the looks on student's faces will be priceless!

  3. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

  4. Unfortunately, the court doesn't understand the difference between ebidta and adjusted ebidta as they clearly got the ruling wrong based on their misunderstanding

  5. A common refrain in the comments on this website comes from people who cannot locate attorneys willing put justice over retainers. At the same time the judiciary threatens to make pro bono work mandatory, seemingly noting the same concern. But what happens to attorneys who have the chumptzah to threatened the legal status quo in Indiana? Ask Gary Welch, ask Paul Ogden, ask me. Speak truth to power, suffer horrendously accordingly. No wonder Hoosier attorneys who want to keep in good graces merely chase the dollars ... the powers that be have no concerns as to those who are ever for sale to the highest bidder ... for those even willing to compromise for $$$ never allow either justice or constitutionality to cause them to stand up to injustice or unconstitutionality. And the bad apples in the Hoosier barrel, like this one, just keep rotting.

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