Joined: Jun 2002
Wednesday December 31, 2008 7:59 AM
Hi WCC Forum Members:
I'm involved in an interesting legacy case where I am representing an entity (IC) that is usually a defendant insurer, but is now a lien claimant --- with a lien for over $650k.
(I was asked to represent lien claimant by outside counsel for the IC, an out-of-state attorney who had no understanding of what AOE/COE or CT meant.)
The case-in-chief resolved with a Thomas C&R for $350k earlier this year. The co-defendants offered the lien claimant less than 10 cents on the dollar, so naturally I took the matter to trial. The WCJ found injury AOE/COE, but determined the DOI adversely to my client. Both co-defendants sought reconsideration on the issue of injury AOE/COE, and I sought reconsideration on the finding of the DOI.
Over the summer, the WCAB affirmed the finding by the WCJ of injury AOE/COE, and denied both co-defendant's petition seeking reconsideration. However, the WCAB agreed with lien claimant that the finding by the WCJ regarding the DOI was erroneous. The WCAB granted lien claimant's petition for reconsideration and rescinded the finding of the DOI by the WCJ.
The opinion from the WCAB issued in August. Neither co-defendant sought reconsideration from the WCAB, and neither co-defendant sought a writ of review from the appellate court.
Normally, the matter would have been returned to the WCJ and the case would have been calendared for a status conference. However, this did not happen and the case sat on the back burner.
A couple of weeks ago I asked a WCJ for advice regarding filing a DOR using the new EAMS forms, as I wanted to get this case back on calendar. My question was focused on which of the two co-defendants I should list on the EAMS DOR, as there is only space for one defendant to be named. The WCJ did not know the answer, but offered to look up the case if I provide him with either the legacy case number or the ADJ case number. I gave him the ADJ case number, he looked it up, and informed me that the matter had just been returned to calendar for a status conference.
Well, as I now had no need to file a DOR, I went home. When I arrived home, there was a notice of hearing in my mailbox. I opened it and was rather surprised to see that the out-of-state outside counsel for this lien claimant IC was now listed as a defendant ER. Hmmmmm.
Normally, I would have thought that this was just a typo. However, just recently, I encountered another EDEX to EAMS screw-up. One of my hearing reps from up north had dropped off 5 DORs at the STK WCAB, but was unable to get a date from the calendar clerk. Instead, the calendar clerk informed my hearing rep that we would be noticed of the date and time of the hearing, once calendared.
Not long ago, I received a call from a WCJ at the STK WCAB. He asked me why I was not in his courtroom appearing at the calendared status conference, as the matter had been set on my DOR. I told him that I never received notice of the hearing. He then told me that he had another problem, as I was not a lien claimant listed on the OAR. I looked at our lien, which had been filed in 2005 through EDEX, and informed the WCJ that we had filed our lien electronically through EDEX, and that we should be on the DOR.
Taking me at my word, the WCJ informed me that he would do some investigation, then call me back. Several hours later, the WCJ did call me back. He had done some researching and learned that my company was indeed listed on the OAR as a lien claimant some time back, but now, mysteriously, my company had been "disappeared" from the OAR. He asked that I refile my lien and DOR, and that he would ensure that I would be able to get my day in court.
I'm not sure if these apparent EDEX to EAMS OAR conversion problems perceived by me are isolated incidents, or if they are pervasive. Has anybody else encountered these type of screw-ups?