LOIS attorney Meisha Powell was successful in arguing for disallowance of a 2016 claim, where the claimant alleges that he was a victim of workplace violence, sustaining injuries to his back. The problem is that the claimant failed to prosecute his claim for several years. Attorney Powell successfully argued that the delay resulted in prejudice to the Carrier.
In using the Doctrine of Laches, Powell argued that, although the claimant filed his C-3 in 2016, attended a physical examination in 2016, and perhaps the employer had notice of an altercation, the Carrier did not have the opportunity to properly investigate the claim, because the claimant did not pursue the claim until now. The claimant argued that the C-3 was timely filed, that the employer had notice of the incident, so there was no prejudice to the Carrier. The Claimant requested full development of the record on whether this claim was compensable. Claimant’s counsel, however, failed to provide a rationale for the delay in pursuing this claim. To support her position that this claim must be disallowed pursuant to the Doctrine of Laches, Attorney Powell submitted recent case law, before the trial, where the Board Panel ruled that a finding of disallowance was warranted where a 6 year long delay in affirmatively pursuing and developing a claim for a direct injury is wholly unreasonable. Furthermore, the Board Panel found such unnecessary and unexcused long delay in pursuing the claim effectively and unreasonably denied the Carrier its right to properly develop the record by timely producing contemporaneous IME, specifically for the claimant’s alleged claim of injury. Attorney Powell successfully argued that the established case law was similar to the facts of this 2016 claim and her arguments to the Judge resulted in disallowance of this back claim. The Judge agreed that this 2016 claim was barred under the Doctrine of Laches after a review of the case law provided by Attorney Powell. Powell’s creative arguments resulted in a very favorable result for our client.