Friday, November 08, 2013

Summary 2013 WY 138

Summary of Decision November 4, 2013

Justice Voigt delivered the opinion for the Court. The district court decision is reversed and the OAH decision is reinstated.


Docket Number: S-13-0057


Appeal from the District Court of Natrona County the Honorable David B. Park, Judge

Representing Appellant: Jeff S. Meyer, Murane & Bostwick, LLC, Casper, Wyoming.

Representing Appellee: John M. Kuker, The Kuker Group LLP, Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Date of Decision: November 4, 2013

Facts: The appellant sought worker’s compensation benefits for a low back injury sustained during the course of his employment. The Wyoming Workers’ Safety and Compensation Division (Division) at first denied the claim, but subsequently issued a redetermination finding the injury to be compensable and awarding benefits. The redetermination advised the parties they had fifteen days from the time of mailing to object and request a hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). The employer, however, did not file an objection until four days after the deadline had expired. Based upon the employer’s untimely objection, the OAH granted the appellant’s summary judgment motion without holding a contested case hearing, determining the undisputed facts established the employer failed timely to file its objection and request for hearing. The district court reversed and remanded the case to the OAH for further proceedings, finding genuine issues of material fact existed regarding the employer’s ability to avoid strict application of the objection deadline. The appellant now appeals to this Court, challenging the order of the district court. Although the district court’s order reversing and remanding to the OAH for further proceedings is not an appealable order pursuant to W.R.A.P. 1.05, we will consider the merits of the case by converting the appeal to a petition for writ of review.

Issues: Did the OAH err by granting summary judgment in favor of the appellant due to the employer’s untimely objection to a redetermination issued by the Wyoming Workers’ Compensation and Safety Division?

Holdings/Conclusion: We reverse the district court’s Order on Appeal and reinstate the OAH decision.

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

[SPECIAL NOTE: This opinion uses the "Universal Citation." It was given an "official" citation when it was issued. You should use this citation whenever you cite the opinion, with a P.3d parallel citation. You will also note when you look at the opinion that all of the paragraphs are numbered. When you need to provide a pinpoint citation to a quote the universal portion of the citation will use that paragraph number. The pinpoint citation in the P.3d portion will need to have the reporter page number. If you need assistance in putting together a citation from this, or any future opinion using the Universal Citation form, please contact the Wyoming State Law Library and we will provide any needed assistance]

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