Friday, August 02, 2013

Summary 2013 WY 86

Summary of Decision, July 16, 2013

Justice Voigt delivered the opinion for the Court. Affirmed.


Docket Number: S-12-0254


Appeal from the District Court of Campbell County the Honorable John R. Perry, Judge

Representing Appellant: James C. Worthen of Murane & Bostwick, LLC, Casper, Wyoming.

Representing Appellee: Gregory A. Phillips, Wyoming Attorney General; John D. Rossetti, Deputy
Attorney General; Michael J. Finn, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Kelly Roseberry, Assistant Attorney General.

Date of Decision: July 16, 2013

Facts: Nicholas Picozzi, the appellant, injured his neck in a compensable work-related accident. After receiving temporary total disability benefits for thirty-six months, the appellant underwent shoulder surgery. The appellant applied to the Wyoming Workers’ Safety and Compensation Division (Division) for additional benefits, arguing that the shoulder injury was a second compensable injury and he, therefore, was entitled to a separate period of benefits. Although the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) agreed, the district court rejected that argument. The appellant now appeals that decision and also argues in the alternative that equitable estoppel prohibits enforcement of the thirty-six month limitation.

Issues: Did the OAH hearing examiner err as a matter of law by granting the appellant’s application for temporary total disability benefits? Is the Division equitably estopped from enforcing the thirty-six month limitation on receipt of temporary total disability benefits?

Holdings: The appellant received temporary total disability benefits for thirty-six months as a result of work-related injury to his neck. After the thirty-six months expired, the appellant underwent shoulder surgery. Because the appellant’s shoulder injury was a result of the same accident that caused his neck injury, he is not entitled to an additional period of benefits. Equitable estoppel does not prevent the enforcement of the thirty-six month limitation because the appellant did not detrimentally rely upon an action by the Division. We affirm the district’s court’s decision, finding that the appellant was not entitled to further benefits.

Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court

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