Voelker v. Exempla Lutheran Health Center, W. C. No. 4-388-006 (2002).
Though the appellate process in the workers’ compensation system is generally an uphill battle for the non-prevailing party, Mr. Simon is willing to undertake the challenge to help his clients.
Elaine Voelker was injured in her employment capacity and hired Mr. Simon for representation.
To determine the issue of medical benefits, Mr. Simon filed an application for a hearing with a Prehearing Administrative Law Judge (PALJ). However, the respondent’s motion to strike the application because the case was closed was granted by the PALJ, and the application was dismissed with prejudice.
Undeterred, Mr. Simon filed an appeal with the Industrial Claim Appeals Office (the Panel) to review the dismissal. The Panel concluded that, because the order was reviewable by an administrative law judge (ALJ) assigned by the Division of Administrative hearings, the PALJ’s order was interlocutory and therefore not reviewable by the Panel.
So, although the appeals process for Ms. Voelker did not go through the Panel, Mr. Simon’s efforts assured that the decision to deny her medical benefits would be reviewed by another authority.