Case on tolling of the statute of limitations based on incompetency

This is a writ denied case

This is a very significant case for workers’ compensation principles.

The applicant was a professional baseball player for the Houston Astros. Applicant had a massive stroke at age 34 rendering him physically and mentally disabled. He filed a cumulative trauma for various body parts including neurological. Twenty three days after filing the claim the applicant requested the case be dismissed. The Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) dismissed the case.

More than a year later the applicant filed a second application. The defendant alleged the case was barred by the statute of limitations. The applicant alleged he was incompetent at the time he requested the original dismissal and asked that the original dismissal be set aside.

At trial the WCJ determined that the applicant was incompetent at the time he dismissed his case. This was based on medical evidence and testimony of the applicant that he was shocked to learn his case had been dismissed. The WCJ ruled that the statute of limitations was tolled. The WCJ ruled the dismissal null and void and appointed a guardian ad litem.

Defendant filed a petition for reconsideration and the Workers” Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) agreed with the WCJ. The defendant then filed a Writ of Review. The appellate court found that there was no reasonable basis for filing the writ and returned the case to the WCAB to assess attorney fees against the defendant.

Case: Houston Astros v. WCAB

Harvey Brown
3501 Jamboree Rd. Suite 602
Newport Beach, CA 92660

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