Charest v. Hydraulic Hose & Assemblies, LLC
The Hanover Insurance Group
June 15, 2020
CategoriesStatute of Limitations
Back Statute of Limitations §306 Social Security Offset §221 Urrutia
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
Charest injured his back in 2001 and got a decree in 2006 awarding a small partial weekly benefit. Soon thereafter, his Social Security retirement benefit gave Hydraulic a §221 offset, allowing them to pay no additional benefits after 2006.
In 2017, Charest filed a Petition for Review, and Hydraulic raised the statute of limitations defense. Judge Collier denied the petition on those grounds, and Charest appealed.
Charest argued that, even though his SS benefits ended his WC payments, Hydraulic’s basic payment obligation remained, extending the statute of limitations. The panel noted that the statute expressly requires a WC benefit payment to extend it. Charest also argued that the Social Security payments extended the statute, like Longshore payments do in WC cases. The panel noted that Social Security retirement benefits don't require injury and disability as Longshore and WC do.
Charest cited the Maine Supreme Court's 2018 Urrutia decision as holding that Social Security retirement benefits and workers’ compensation benefits are equivalent. The panel disagreed, saying Urrutia concerned only the benefit payment amount, not its purpose. The Appellate Division found no error in Judge Collier's decision and affirmed it.