WORKERS COMP: CONTINENTAL GENERAL TIRE V. LOOPER (COA 12/15/2006)

CONTINENTAL GENERAL TIRE V. LOOPER
WORKERS COMP: TTD Modification
2005-CA-002619
PUBLISHED: AFFIRMING; JOHNSON
DATE RENDERED: 12/15/2006

Continental General Tire has petitioned for review of an opinion of the Workers’ Compensation Board  which affirmed an order by the ALJ vacating an agreed order which had modified Jeff Looper’s entitlement to temporary total disability (TTD) benefits.

The COA affirmed having concluded that the Board did not overlook or misconstrue controlling case law in affirming the ALJ. 

Continental continued questioning the authority of the ALJ to vacate the agreed order absent Looper’s timely filing of a petition for reconsideration, notice of appeal, or motion to reopen. Looper counters by arguing that the agreed order was unenforceable because it was entered more than 30 days after the ALJ’s award was entered and that KRS 342.265(1) requires the informed approval of the ALJ of an agreed order.

Although the ALJ did not cite the mistake provision of KRS 342.125, that the statute offered relief under the same circumstances as would be available under CR 60.02, the COA held that when KRS 342.125(1)(c) is viewed as being a statutory equivalent to CR 60.02, that it was proper for the ALJ to vacate the agreed order on the ground that it was a mistake to reduce a claimant’s benefits without consideration, without acknowledgement by the claimant, and without the ALJ’s informed approval.

Therefore, the ALJ did not abuse his discretion in granting the motion to vacate the agreed order.

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