On Appeal from the Office of Workers' Compensation, District 5, In and for the Parish of East Baton Rouge, State of Louisiana. No. 12-05641. Pamela A. Moses-Laramore, Workers' Compensation Judge Presiding.
Tyrone Shropshire, Plaintiff/Appellant, Pro se, Baker, Louisiana.
Jeffrey C. Napolitano, Metairie, Louisiana, Attorney for Defendant/Appellee, Anco Installation.
BEFORE: GUIDRY, THERIOT, AND DRAKE, JJ.
[2014 0902 La.App. 1 Cir. 2]
The plaintiff, Tyrone Shropshire, appeals a judgment rendered by the Office of Workers' Compensation (" OWC" ) in favor of the defendant, ANCO Installation (" ANCO" ) and ANCO's workers' compensation insurer, Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, dismissing his workers' compensation claim with prejudice. Also before this court is a motion filed by ANCO to dismiss the appeal as untimely. For the reasons that follow, we deny the motion and affirm the judgment of the OWC.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Mr. Shropshire was employed by ANCO. Mr. Shropshire claims he suffered permanent injuries in an accident on October 23, 1998, while in the course and scope of his employment with ANCO. ANCO disputed whether an accident occurred and whether Mr. Shropshire was unable to perform the duties of his occupation.
In June 2010, Shropshire, ANCO and its workers' compensation insurer entered into a compromise agreement, " Joint Petition for Authority to Compromise Workmen's Compensation Claim," and an Order of Approval. The Order of Approval was signed by the workers' compensation judge (" WCJ" ) on June 25, 2010. The documents included language that recited Mr. Shropshire was to receive $5,381.00 per month for twenty-six years " to settle the future medical aspect part of the claim." Other documents reflected that the payment was to be $5,381.00 per year.
Neither ANCO nor its insurer ever paid Mr. Shropshire $5,381.00. In July 2012, Mr. Shropshire filed a Form 1008 Disputed Claim for Compensation with the OWC seeking a monthly payment, to which he alleged he was entitled. ANCO [2014 0902 La.App. 1 Cir. 3] and its insurer answered, asserting that the payment of $5,381.00 per month was a typographical error and that the Order should be amended to reflect payments due of $5,381.00 per year.
The matter came for hearing before the OWC in February 2014. The WCJ found the payments per month to be a typographical error and amended the Order of Approval to substitute the word
"annually" in place of the word " monthly" everywhere the word " monthly" appeared in the settlement agreement and Order of Approval dated June 25, 2010. The WCJ also held that Mr. Shropshire willfully made false statements and representations for the purpose of obtaining additional benefits, in violation of La. R.S. 23:1208. Accordingly, the WCJ voided the annuity set up to pay the settlement and relieved third parties and their assignees from further obligation to pay Mr. Shropshire.
The WCJ signed a judgment on February 24, 2014. The notice of judgment was mailed on February 26, 2014, via certified mail, which was received by Mr. Shropshire on March 3, 2014. Mr. Shropshire filed a request for an appeal on May 5, 2014. After Mr. Shropshire's appeal was lodged and the parties' briefs were submitted, ANCO filed a motion to dismiss the appeal on the grounds that it was filed untimely under La. R.S. 23:1310.5(B).
LAW AND DISCUSSION
ANCO's Motion to Dismiss