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Workers' Compensation Committee Update

Staff contact: Lev Ginsburg
December 13, 2013

Court of Appeals Reversal

Tuesday, the Court of Appeals reversed its decision from earlier this year in the Auqui v Seven Thirty One Ltd. Partnership case.  The new decision disallows the use of a collateral estoppel in this case, for the determination by the Workers' Compensation Board that the plaintiff had no further causally-related disability and no further need for treatment.  The Court of Appeals ruled that while the general rule of collateral estoppel remains the law in the context of administrative hearings, the scope of the Workers' Compensation Board administrative hearing was narrower than that of a negligence case and therefor there is no identity of issues, thus no application of collateral estoppel.
It is unclear at this point how broadly the new decision will be read by lower courts and what this could mean for third-party businesses involved in tort cases originally stemming from a Workers' Compensation injury case.  The decision can be found here.