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Court affirms denial of comp cover due to untimely injury notice

Posted On: Jan. 11, 2019 12:47 PM CST

Court affirms denial of comp cover due to untimely injury notice

A New York appellate court affirmed Thursday a decision denying benefits to a taxi driver for failing to provide timely notice of his injury.

In Sheikh v. White & Blue Group Corp., heard in the appellate division of the Supreme Court of New York, a taxi driver alleged that another driver assaulted him on July 5, 2014, while he was between fares, causing him to sustain injuries to his right shoulder and neck. He filed a C-3 claim form on July 29, 2014.

The employer and its workers comp insurer denied the driver’s claim for lack of notice, and a workers compensation law judge agreed, finding that the employer was prejudiced by the driver’s lack of timely notice and that the driver’s alleged account of the incident was not credible. The Workers Compensation Board upheld the decision.

The driver appealed and testified that after the alleged assault, he was in severe pain but did not go to the emergency room because he did not know if the visit would be covered. He also argued that he couldn’t provide timely written notice because he was unable to go to his workplace.

The court, however, noted that the driver did not seek medical attention until July 22, and that his account of his fares the night of the incident failed to match his trip log. In addition, his police report of the incident — filed seven months later — stated that he was assaulted by a dispatcher, not a driver.

The court held that given the lack of documentation and the employer’s inability to investigate the incident, the board properly concluded that the judge did not abuse his discretion in declining to excuse the driver’s untimely notice and affirmed the decision.