Katherine Stovall v. New England Telephone Company
Sedgwick Claims Management Services
December 21, 2021
CategoriesDurational Limit Res Judicata Durational Limit Res Judicata
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
Katherine Stovall v. New England Telephone (21-35) – Stovall was injured at work in 1996 and 2001. She filed petitions on both DOIs, but NET put her on total benefits per a Memo of Payment on the 1996 injury, so she dismissed that petition and litigated only the 2001 DOI which had a higher AWW. In 2006 the ALJ granted her petition on the 2001 DOI and ordered 40% partial benefits ongoing, which NET paid.
In 2010, NET filed a Review on the 2001 DOI per the durational limit, which the ALJ granted in 2011. In 2017, before the 6-year SOL ran, Stovall filed a Restoration on the 1996 DOI, saying NET never properly terminated those benefits. The ALJ denied the petition, finding it barred by res judicata and the doctrine of laches, and Stovall appealed.
The Appellate Division granted her appeal, vacated the decision, and remanded it for further proceedings to determine whether the parties litigated 1996 work injury in prior proceedings, and whether the 2005 MOP on that DOI remained viable. In a concurring opinion, Judge Knopf suggested the ALJ must also decide per the Law Court's 2000 Johnson decision whether the 1996 work injury "could have been" litigated in the prior proceedings