Court Finds Interest Payable on Death Benefit Award

Third Quarter 2014 Legal Briefs

Stenz v. City of Tucson, Court of Appeals, Division II, Published Opinion, Filed 10/8/2014

In a case that will undoubtedly be appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court and may require legislative correction, the Court of Appeals in Tucson ruled that interest on an award of death benefits is payable from the date the claim was filed rather from when the award for benefits becomes final. The court held that a good-faith dispute over liability does not prevent the award of interest on a claim where it is possible to determine with specificity the amount due to the claimant. This decision represents a major change in the law. Prior to this decision, interest was payable to an injured worker only after an award of benefits became final.

See three previous posts to read all third quarter 2014 workers compensation cases.

Additional Hearings Warranted Where Evidence of Fraud is Discovered

Third Quarter Legal Briefs

Naglieri v. Sun Devil Auto, Court of Appeals, Division I, Published Opinion, Filed 9/30/2014

In this case, the court addressed alleged fraudulent testimony given during an Industrial Commission hearing and held the administrative law judge should have granted an additional hearing to receive evidence on the alleged untruthful testimony given by the employer’s manager.

Applicant worked as an automobile mechanic. He was also a gun collector and he had brought his 1919 Browning machine gun to work one day. Because work was slow that Continue reading

Court Relaxes “Severe Pain” Requirement to Establish Hernia Claim

Third Quarter 2014 Legal Briefs

City of Tucson v. Industrial Commission, Court of Appeals, Division II, Published Opinion, Filed 9/30/2014

In this case, the court of appeals judicially expanded the meaning of “severe pain” for purposes of establishing a compensable work-related hernia.

Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 23-1043(2) sets forth four requirements for a claim to be compensable: (a) the immediate cause was a severe strain or blow; (b) the hernia immediately descended following the cause; (c) the cause was accompanied by severe Continue reading