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Health club fails to dispute comp claim in time

health club

A health club failed to timely file dispute forms to defend against a workers compensation claim filed by one of its employees and can no longer defend the claim, an appeals court in Connecticut ruled Tuesday.

Joseph Dominguez in 2016 filed a workers compensation claim exacerbation of a preexisting injury to his upper left extremity while moving equipment for his employer New York Sports Club, a claim the employer did not respond to within the 28-day window as required by state law, according to documents in Joseph Dominguez, v. New York Sports Club et al., filed in the Appellate Court of Connecticut in Hartford, Connecticut.

The sports club, instead, filed a later dispute, which Mr. Dominguez filed a motion to preclude the defendant from contesting the right to receive compensation “on any ground" due to its failure "to file a timely response” to his claim, according to documents.

The Workers Compensation Commissioner accepted the motion, stating that the employer could not contest the claim over failure to respond in time, but may “contest its extent,” in line with case law. 

On appeal for review, the state Compensation Review Board agreed in part but ruled that the health club be “precluded from presenting a defense” and that case law was misapplied, documents state. The health club then appealed, losing once again with the state appeals court affirming the board’s decision, arguing in part that the ruling is in line with state law:

“(T)he employer shall be conclusively presumed to have accepted the compensability of the alleged injury or death unless the employer either files a notice contesting liability on or before the twenty-eighth day after receiving a written notice of claim or commences payment for the alleged injury or death on or before such twenty-eighth day,” the ruling states.







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