ILNews

Judges reverse dismissal of application to adjust claim

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

ADVERTISEMENT