WORKERS COMPENSATION NOTICE OF INJURY: SMITH V. TRICO COUNTY DEVELOPMENT & PIPE LINE (COA 8/3/2007)

SMITH V. TRICO COUNTY DEVELOPMENT & PIPE LINE
WORKERS COMPENSATION:  Notice of Injury
2006-CA-002324
PUBLISHED: REVERSING AND REMANDING
PANEL:  HOWARD, PRESIDING; WINE CONCURS; BUCKINGHAM DISSENTS
FROM: WORKERS COMP BOARD
DATE RENDERED: 8/3/2007

The employee was fired the day after his injury, and the ALJ found based on conflicting testimony that he did not report the injury to his employer. Instead, he contacted the insurance carrier for his employer and filled out a first report of injury form the next day. The Administrative Law Judge dismissed the claim on the basis of failing to give notice to the employer, and the Workers’ Compensation Board affirmed. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding on an issue of first impression that notice to the insurer satisfied the purposes of the notice statute, being to allow an investigation of the injury and the provision of prompt medical attention in order to mitigate disability. Notice to the insurer was constructive notice to the employer, given that the employer was contacted by the insurer in order to investigate the claim.

Digested by Peter Naake

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