Home > Uncategorized > Are Unsigned but Approved and Paid C&Rs Enforceable?

Are Unsigned but Approved and Paid C&Rs Enforceable?

April 10th, 2013

Your humble blogger was recently at the board getting a take-nothing order following a catastrophic injury which resulted in total permanent disability (or was it just a walkthrough? So hard to remember…)  In any case, using his super-human ability to overhear conversations from five feet away, he picked up on the following case, and it’s an odd one at that.

So applicant (allegedly) sustains an injury, and then goes through the whole song and dance with the defense, which then works out a compromise and release agreement.  Everyone is on board and everyone is happy, and the agreement is put before a worker’s compensation Judge, who approves it.  Defendant sends out a check and applicant cashes it.  End of story, right?  Well, not so much.

The one missing detail in all of this was applicant’s signature.

That’s right – the defense and the Judge both overlooked the fact that applicant never signed the compromise and release.

So, four years later, applicant is calling his attorney wondering why he isn’t getting more money or medical treatment or unicorns and rainbows.  Oh, and by the way, defendant can’t get its money back because the money is gone — applicant had spent it and now wants more!


Now, dear readers, before you ask at which Board this occurred or which Judge approved the compromise and release, I remind you that your humble blogger does not name names (unless it’s to shame fraudsters).

But, realistically speaking, what is to be done in this situation?

The injured worker did not sign the Compromise and Release, but he did sign the check and spent the money.  On the other hand, the defense messed up – it submitted an unsigned Compromise and Release agreement.

We’ve seen a somewhat similar case, where a stolen and cashed check left the defendant paying double on an award,  but what’s to be done in cases like these?

Your humble blogger cornered one of the attorneys afterwards and demanded he spill as to the resolution of this case.  After trying to escape several times, he finally gave in and explained that the parties agreed to settle the claim by having the defense cough in another $1,500.  Hopefully, they will check to make sure the applicant signs the documents (and not just the check) this time before paying out.

I don’t know how this case would turn out on appeal (because that’s where it would be headed).  What do you think, dear readers?

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