Got a terrific Board Panel decision today that will make my client happy and an insurance company and its lawyers unhappy. A unanimous Board Panel penalized the insurance company $500 for filing a frivolous appeal. That $500 is paid to my client.
There are a couple of things about this Board Panel decision that make it particularly sweet. First, the decision that the insurance company frivolously appealed was a decision that awarded my client a penalty of nearly $4,400. I sought this first penalty for late payment of his lost wage benefit. So the $500 penalty for frivilous appeal was on top of the nearly $4,400 penalty for late payment of lost wages.
The other thing that makes this Board Panel decision special is that this is the first time I’ve gotten a penalty against a carrier for filing a frivolous appeal. Insurance companies delay and deny and they endlessly appeal. I routinely seek and obtain penalties when the insurance company delays in paying my clients’ lost wage benefits and I routinely seek penalties for frivolous appeal. I’ve been trying to get insurance companies penalized for frivolous appeals since I started practicing Workers’ Compensation and I was beginning to wonder if the Board would find anything frivolous. Well . . . I’m happy to say that the Board will assess a penalty for filing a frivolous appeal. Insurance companies beware.
Thanks for reading,
Eric L. Johnson, Esq.
Workers’ Compensation and Disability Attorney
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William St., Elmira, NY 14901
Tel: (607) 733-8866
Fax: (607) 732-6062
Toll Free: 1-800-943-3529
Admitted to practice in New York and North Carolina