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Judges reverse dismissal of application to adjust claim

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The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the decision by the full Worker’s Compensation Board that a medical services provider’s application for an adjustment of claim was barred by the two-year statute of limitations found in Indiana Code Section 22-3-3-3. The appellate court relied on a recent decision involving a similar scenario to make its ruling.

An employee of International Entertainment Consultants was injured during the course of his employment in 2005 and Indiana Spine Group PC provided medical services to him. Consultants’ insurer only paid a portion of the bill in 2006. In 2009, Indiana Spine filed an application for adjustment of claim with the Worker’s Compensation Board to be paid for the entire amount charged. Consultants filed a motion to dismiss because it believed the claim was barred by a two-year statute of limitation based on I.C. Section 22-3-3-3.

The full board affirmed the single hearing member’s grant of the motion to dismiss. It reasoned that the medical provider’s fee claim is derivative of the underlying injury claim and declined to apply any of the general statutes of limitation found in I.C. Chapter 34-11-2.

In Indiana Spine Group, P.C. v. International Entertainment Consultants, No. 93A02-1007-EX-764, the Court of Appeals relied on its recent ruling in Indiana Spine Group v. Pilot Travel Centers, 931 N.E.2d 435, 438 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010), to reverse. In that opinion, the judges found that the Worker’s Compensation Act is silent on the statute of limitations applicable to claims involving pecuniary liability of employers to medical service providers, but held that neither of the statute of limitations contained in the act – I.C. Sections 22-3-3-3 and -27 - applied to a medical service provider’s claim for pecuniary liability.

Consultants argued that Pilot was wrongly decided and I.C. Section 22-3-3-3 does apply to a medical service provider’s claim because its plain language makes it applicable to all claims for compensation under the act. It also argued that medical services are included in the term “compensation,” but cited no authority suggesting that “pecuniary liability” is included within the term “compensation,” wrote Judge Terry Crone.

“On the contrary, treating these terms as interchangeable would produce illogical and unjust results. In Pilot, we noted that the Act ‘specifically envisioned’ that ‘an employee could very well receive medical services up to the end of the two-year statutory period,’” he wrote. “Although Pilot was discussing the two-year period in Indiana Code Section 22-3-3-27, the reasoning applies with equal force to Section 22-3-3-3. As in Pilot, we ‘fail to see the wisdom of tying a medical service provider’s ability to seek full payment due under the Act’ to a date that has no significance to the medical service provider’s claim.”

Indiana Spine argued to the full board that either the six-year statute of limitation for actions on accounts or the 10-year statute of limitation for actions that are not limited by any other statute should apply. Since the provider’s claim would be timely under either of those statutes of limitation and no argument has been advanced for the application of any other statute of limitation, the judges held the board erred by dismissing the application. They remanded for further proceedings.

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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