Home > Uncategorized > Post 7/1/13 Dates of Service Have 18-month SOL

Post 7/1/13 Dates of Service Have 18-month SOL

Hello, dear readers!

Friday has come and gone, the weekend is like dust in the wind, and here you are, seated firmly in front of your computer, tablet, or smart-phone, hopping out of the frying pay of doing work and into the mind-numbing flame of reading your humble blogger’s workers’ compensation ramblings.

But fear not, because todays’ post is actually good news!

Recently, the WCAB denied a lien claimant’s petition for reconsideration in the case of Escamilla v. Pelican Products Inc. case.  (Just a side note, dear readers: your humble blogger has recently been accused of being unfairly hard towards lien claimants, who bravely and generously provide medical care to injured workers when their employers and insurers won’t.  Well, don’t buy into that! Most of the lien claimants we deal with in wrapping up a case are repeat players: they know about the MPN, they read and ignore the objection letters, and they keep doing what they do on the presumption that they can litigate and get some money.  No sympathy will be found for them on these internet pages.)

Basically, lien claimant was complaining that an 18-month statute of limitations was applied to bar its lien (as per Labor Code section 4903.5(a)) when the lien claimant would have much preferred the 3-year statute of times past.

The commissioners were not persuaded.  When services are provided after July 1, 2013, the 18-month statute of limitations applies.

Now, here’s a thought – 4903.5(a) provides that “a lien claim for expenses as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 4903 shall not be filed after three years from the date the services were provided, nor more than 18 months after the services were provided on or after July 1, 2013.”

One of the things your humble blogger has encountered is a list of dates of service, with the last date of service within 18 months of the filed lien, and the inevitable argument that so long as the last date of service isn’t 18 months behind the lien, the entire bill is safe.  By contrast, I would think the defense would take the position that any date of service more than 18 months older than the lien is time-barred.

The panel decisions, unfortunately, haven’t been much help in this regard.  I would list them here, but I have no interest in doing legal research for the benefit of lien claimants, so you’ll just have to take my word on it.   From my research, at least, the panels have consistently found that lien claimants have 18 months from the last date of service provided for the whole set.  However, until there’s binding authority, I would submit that defendants can continue to make the argument that any services 18 months older than the filed lien are time-barred.

Alright dear readers – that’s it for me.  See you Wednesday!

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.