Posts tagged "Beatty’s"

Beatty’s Case (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-140-13)

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;     12‑P‑1586                                       Appeals Court   FRANCIS BEATTY’S CASE (and four companion cases[1]). No. 12‑P‑1586. Suffolk.     May 10, 2013.  ‑  November 26, 2013. Present:  Cohen, Graham, & Fecteau, JJ.   Workers’ Compensation Act, Reimbursement of insurer, Cost of living allowance.  Limitations, Statute of.  Practice, Civil, Statute of limitations.  Statute, Construction.  Administrative Law, Regulations.  Regulation.       Appeal from a decision of the Industrial Accident Reviewing Board.     Kirk G. Hanson, Assistant Attorney General, for Workers’ Compensation Trust Fund. John J. Canniff for the employer.       GRAHAM, J.  At issue is whether a two-year limitations period, established by a regulation of the Department of Industrial Accidents (department), see 452 Code Mass. Regs. § 3.03(3) (1999), should be applied to bar certain claims of Harvard University (Harvard), a self-insurer, for reimbursement of cost of living adjustments (COLA) from the Workers’ Compensation Trust Fund (Fund), pursuant to G. L. c. 152, § 34B, as amended by St. 1991, c. 398, § 61.  The Fund appeals from a decision of the department’s reviewing board (board), declining to enforce the regulation.  We reverse the board’s decision. Background.  General Laws c. 152, § 34B, provides that any person receiving workers’ compensation benefits under G. L. c. 152, § 31 or § 34A, also receive an additional benefit in an amount intended to protect the employee from the effects of inflation.  See Sliski’s Case, 424 Mass. 126, 135 (1997).  The statute requires that insurers pay these COLA supplemental benefits (COLA benefits) concurrently with the employee’s base benefits.  Relevant here, insurers paying COLA benefits to employees whose injuries occurred on or before October 1, 1986, are entitled to be reimbursed for those amounts from the Fund, so long as the insured employer participates in the assessment provisions that supply the revenues for the Fund, pursuant to c. 152, § 65. On July 22, 2010, Harvard filed claims seeking reimbursement from the Fund for COLA benefits it paid to five employees, Francis Beatty, Maria Carvalho, Adolphus Gordon, Helena Raposo, and Francis Yebba, from July 1, 2005, through June 30, 2010.  The Fund denied Harvard’s claims for reimbursement for COLA benefits Harvard paid from July 1, 2005, through July 21, 2008, as those payments were made more than two years before Harvard filed its claims for reimbursement.  A department regulation, 452 Code Mass. Regs. § 3.03(3) (regulation), provided for reimbursement only for petitions made within two […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - November 26, 2013 at 10:32 pm

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