By Courtney S. Paterson

Vincent Taylor v. American Tire Distributors, et al.            

Docket No. 2015-06-0361

State File No. 78226-2014

Filed August 15, 2017

 

Posture

This is a case before the Appeals Board on interlocutory appeal filed by the employer, and the dispute was whether the employer should be required to provide medical benefits.

Employee alleged suffering an injury to back on September 25, 2014 while lifting tires.  The Employer authorized one medical visit and then denied the claim on the basis it was not work-related. Employee filed a petition for benefit determination on June 12, 2015 seeking medical and temporary and permanent disability benefits. On July 17, 2015, the Employee “withdrew” his petition in order to obtain additional medical proof. Employee filed a second petition for benefit determination on March 11, 2016. Employer responded by filing a motion for summary judgment arguing that when the Employee withdrew the first petition, the one-year statute of limitations began running again and that, because the subsequent petition was filed over one year after the date of Employer’s last voluntary payment, the claim was time-barred and should be dismissed. The trial court concluded that because no order of nonsuit had been entered by a judge, the claim remained pending.  The trial court further concluded that the Notice of Withdrawal issued by the mediator had no legal effect on the claim because the mediator lacked the authority to issue a “binding order.” Consequently, the trial court denied the motion for summary judgment.

The appeals board affirmed the decision of the trial court. The appeals board held that no notice of nonsuit was filed by the Employee and no order of nonsuit was entered by a judge. Thus, the employee’s claim remained active.