In this case, Petitioner was injured in an accepted, but unfiled, accident in 2016 when he slipped on ice and fell while walking on the roof of Respondent’s building. Petitioner underwent appropriate medical treatment and was released to return to full duty work. The last medical or indemnity benefit paid on this case was February 8, 2017. Petitioner failed to resolve his case or request a settlement offer until April 30, 2018. A settlement offer was made on June 6, 2018; however, Petitioner did not respond to that offer and had no communications with the adjuster until November 19, 2018. At that time, Petitioner was given additional instructions on how to proceed with settlement discussions, which he never pursued. Petitioner did not contact the adjuster again until March 4, 2019, after the two-year statute of limitations (from the date of last payment of benefits) had expired.
The arbitrator found that the lack of communication between the Petitioner and adjuster did not create a false sense of security that Petitioner relied on to his detriment which would estop Respondent for asserting the statute of limitations defense. In so holding, the arbitrator also found that Petitioner was not credible and the testimony of the adjuster, along with recorded phone conversations and phone records, outweighed the testimony of Petitioner and Petitioner’s wife. The arbitrator concluded that the statute of limitations ran due to Petitioner’s inattention and failure to follow up or contact the adjuster. Therefore, Petitioner was not awarded any permanency benefits as his case was not timely filed. This case was not appealed by Petitioner.
Congratulations to Partner Kristin Thomas for the excellent result.