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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. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  2. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  3. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  4. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  5. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

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