Pruitt v. Providence Extended Care

[EMPLOYMENT LAW]

In Pruitt v. Providence Extended Care,[1] the supreme court held that filing an affidavit for readiness for hearing nearly four years after an employer files a controversion of such claim does not substantially comply with the two-year statute of limitations imposed by the workers’ compensation statute.[2] In 2004, Pruitt was injured on the job and began receiving disability benefits.[3] In 2005, after Pruitt filed a workers’ compensation claim, Pruitt’s employer, Providence Extended Care (“Providence”), filed three separate controversions in an attempt to disclaim any future disability payments.[4] In 2009, Pruitt filed an affidavit for readiness for hearing and a hearing was held by the Workers’ Compensation Board (“Board”). Providence argued, and the Board agreed, that Pruitt’s claim should be dismissed as she failed to file anything within the two-year statute of limitations period, which began to run in 2005.[5] The Alaska Workers’ Compensation Appeals Commission (“Commission”) subsequently upheld the Board’s decision and Pruitt appealed to the supreme court.[6] The supreme court affirmed the Commission’s decision, reasoning that the plain language of the statute, along with the Board’s urging in 2006 that Pruitt contact staff at the Board for assistance in filing the necessary documents within the statute of limitations period, made it clear Pruitt did not substantially comply with the statute.[7] Affirming the Commission’s decision, the supreme court held that filing an affidavit for readiness for hearing nearly four years after an employer files a controversion of such claim does not substantially comply with the two-year statute of limitations imposed by the workers’ compensation statute.[8]

 



[1] 297 P.3d 891 (Alaska 2013).

[2] Id. at 891.

[3] Id. at 892.

[4] Id.

[5] Id. at 893.

[6] Id. at 894.

[7] Id. at 895.

[8] Id. at 891.

Pruitt v. Providence Extended Care

[EMPLOYMENT LAW]

In Pruitt v. Providence Extended Care,[1] the supreme court held that filing an affidavit for readiness for hearing nearly four years after an employer files a controversion of such claim does not substantially comply with the two-year statute of limitations imposed by the workers’ compensation statute.[2] In 2004, Pruitt was injured on the job and began receiving disability benefits.[3] In 2005, after Pruitt filed a workers’ compensation claim, Pruitt’s employer, Providence Extended Care (“Providence”), filed three separate controversions in an attempt to disclaim any future disability payments.[4] In 2009, Pruitt filed an affidavit for readiness for hearing and a hearing was held by the Workers’ Compensation Board (“Board”). Providence argued, and the Board agreed, that Pruitt’s claim should be dismissed as she failed to file anything within the two-year statute of limitations period, which began to run in 2005.[5] The Alaska Workers’ Compensation Appeals Commission (“Commission”) subsequently upheld the Board’s decision and Pruitt appealed to the supreme court.[6] The supreme court affirmed the Commission’s decision, reasoning that the plain language of the statute, along with the Board’s urging in 2006 that Pruitt contact staff at the Board for assistance in filing the necessary documents within the statute of limitations period, made it clear Pruitt did not substantially comply with the statute.[7] Affirming the Commission’s decision, the supreme court held that filing an affidavit for readiness for hearing nearly four years after an employer files a controversion of such claim does not substantially comply with the two-year statute of limitations imposed by the workers’ compensation statute.[8]

 



[1] 297 P.3d 891 (Alaska 2013).

[2] Id. at 891.

[3] Id. at 892.

[4] Id.

[5] Id. at 893.

[6] Id. at 894.

[7] Id. at 895.

[8] Id. at 891.