Many of our previous blog articles have discussed the unfairness of some cases barring claims made by injured workers based on a statute of limitations. Some of these cases prevent injured workers from getting workers’ compensation benefits they should receive.
In a 2015 case from the Georgia Court of Appeals, an employer tried to argue once again that an injured worker should not receive benefits. Fortunately, the Court of Appeals did not buy the employer’s argument.
The facts of the Court of Appeals case
Mr. Barnes was horrifically injured when he fell through a rotten floor at work and landed in an augur. His left leg was cut off below the knee. Despite this horrible injury, Mr. Barnes returned to work and continued working for his employer. After some time, he was placed in a position that further injured his leg. Eventually, his employer laid him off. Mr. Barnes contacted the workers’ compensation insurance company about starting to pay him workers’ compensation benefits, but they refused to do so.
Mr. Barnes requested a hearing to get his workers’ compensation benefits started. His case ended up at the Georgia Court of Appeals because the State Board of Workers’ Compensation held that his case was barred by two statutes of limitations (O.C.G.A. 34-9-82 and O.C.G.A. 34-9-104).
The decision of the Court of Appeals
The Georgia Court of Appeals reversed the State Board’s decision on both statutes. Unfortunately, since this article was originally published, the Georgia Supreme Court reviewed the Court of Appeals decision and overturned it. Find out about the Georgia Supreme Court’s decision and how it harms catastrophically injured workers in this article.