Case Study

Claim Barred by Failure to Provide Timely Notice

Facts

Petitioner, a stocker, alleged that she felt a tear in her abdomen while lifting at work on February 29, 2008. She admitted that she did not report the incident to any supervisor at that time and continued to perform her regular work activities. She further alleged that on April 25, 2008, she again felt abdominal pain while lifting at work.  Again, she failed to report the incident and continued to perform her regular work activities. She was seen by a physician on May 12, 2008, complaining of pain and possible bladder prolapse (she had a pre-existing history of such condition), but failing to report any work accident. She finally filled out a written incident report on June 2, 2008, indicating an accident date of February 29, 2008, but failed to make any mention of an alleged accident on April 25, 2008. On the same day she filled out the incident report, she called her physician and requested an off work slip and a note causally relating the bladder prolapse to her lifting at work.  The doctor refused to provide such a note.  She subsequently underwent a three year course of treatment, including surgeries and pain management.

Issues

Notice, Accident, TTD, Medical and Permanency

Outcome

The arbitrator found that Petitioner failed to provide timely notice of the alleged February 29, 2008 within the statutory 45 day requirement under the Act. She testified that she failed to provide notice of this incident to her employer until filling out the incident report on June 2, 2008, well after the expiration of the 45 day period. As for the alleged April 25, 2008 date of accident, she offered no testimony that she ever reported the incident to her employer, and there is no evidence that the employer was aware of her alleged April 2008 accident until the filing of the Application for Adjustment of Claim on July 1, 2008.  This was also well beyond the 45 day statutory period. Due to the lack of proper notice, the Arbitrator denied all benefits. 

Elaine Larson v. Wal-Mart, 08 WC 28997