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Brownstein | Rask News

Brownstein Rask LLP Portland Oregon Attorneys

Quarterly LHWCA caselaw summary 2024/06

| Norman Cole, Of Counsel

In the last quarter, the Board issued one published decision, Fowler v. M.T.C. East dba Ports America, Inc.., and several unpublished decisions that were informative but substantially consistent with existing law.

  • 14(d) states an employer must voluntarily pay benefits or file a notice of controversion within 14 days of becoming aware of an injury or pay a 10% penalty. Some employers and insurers file newly issued LS-207s with the OWCP but fail to send a copy to the claimant and claimant’s attorney. The OWCP routinely notifies the claimant the claim was controverted but does not send the claimant a copy of the controversion, believing the employer/carrier had already done so. Form LS-207, just above the authorized signature (Box 13), states, “as verified by the signature below, the form was mailed to the claimant and claimant’s representatives.” Numerous defense attorneys attest to seeing LS-207s issued without any authorized signature. The Board, in Fowler, held, for purposes of a §14(d) penalty, the controversion is not filed until it is served on the claimant. 

The Board issued two unpublished decisions, Mondella v. GCT New York LP and Stevens v. Marine Repair Services, Inc., concerning intervening of the job injuries. There is no new or unusual concept of law discussed in these decisions, but the Board did a good job summarizing existing law regarding intervening injuries not subject to the LHWCA.