Herrington v. P.R. Ventures, LLC, et al., No. S-09-1076 (Neb. 04/23/10).
The Nebraska Supreme Court upheld the denial of the claimant's request for waiting time penalties, attorney's fees, and interest. Although the employer paid the lump-sum settlement the Monday after the statutory 30-day period for payment expired, it was still timely.
What it means:
Under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act, payment of an order or judgment is considered timely if it is tendered within 30 days. When the statutory period expires on a Saturday, Sunday, or a day when the Workers' Compensation Court is otherwise legally closed, payments made on the next business day are considered timely.
In July 2008, the claimant sought workers' compensation benefits for work-related accidents. She settled her claim for $10,000, and on Dec. 4, 2008, the WCC entered an order approving a lump-sum payment. The employer sent the $10,000 check to the claimant's attorney by overnight mail on Monday, Jan. 5, 2009. The claimant sought waiting time penalties, attorney's fees, and interest, contending that the payment was sent outside the 30-day time period provided by statute. The trial judge granted the claimant's request, but a review panel reversed the judge's decision. The Nebraska Supreme Court ultimately concluded that the employer's payment was timely.
Because the 30-day period for payment expired on a Saturday, the statute permitted the employer to make timely payment on the following Monday. The statute's language, which extended deadlines until the next business day in cases where the period expired on a weekend or holiday for "any other action with respect to a claim for compensation," was broad enough to cover transactions between the parties, not just between a party and the court, as the worker had argued.
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June 28, 2010
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