Home > Uncategorized > Lien Claimants Collaterally Estopped from Re-Litigating AOE/COE Issue

Lien Claimants Collaterally Estopped from Re-Litigating AOE/COE Issue

What is the extent to which a lien claimant can litigate the causation of an industrial injury?  In the case of Travis Brock v. Ron’s Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, lien claimant Alan Moelleken, M.D., sought to re-litigate the issue of AOE/COE in an effort to enforce its lien.

That issue had been one of several at a trial which the applicant lost and the defendant won – applicant had failed to carry his burden of proving that the injury he allegedly sustained arouse out of employment and was sustained in the course of employment.

Well, if there was no industrial injury, and defendant is not liable for applicant’s medical treatment, then what rights does a medical treatment lien claimant have to any such recovery?

According to this case – none.  Not even, much to lien claimant’s dismay and your humble blogger’s delight, the right to litigate, or rather re-litigate, the questions of causation.

Lien claimant in this case presented the argument that, even though applicant failed to prove that the injury was industrial in nature, lien claimant could do a better job and get the job done.

Fortunately for the defense, the workers’ compensation Judge and the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board both saw this claim for exactly the maneuver that it was.  Lien claimant was attempting to wear down the defense by forcing it to pay the litigation costs of a second trial.  The WCJ’s response was correctly stated:  “Lien Claimants are collaterally estopped from again litigating the issue of injury AOE/COE.”



Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Phil
    August 8, 2012 at 8:35 am

    A perfect example of why not everyone deserves a seat at the table when workers’ comp reforms are being discussed.

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