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Chart View: Parties in Alaska Workers’ Compensation Claims

29 Aug, 2023 Frank Ferreri

The words JOIN US on wooden cube. Team Recruitment Register Membership Hiring, Human resources management and Business concept.
                               

Juneau, AK (WorkersCompensation.com) -- To understand how parties become part of a workers' compensation claim in Alaska, the following chart breaks down the Last Frontier's rules.

TopicsRules about Parties
Who has to be joined as a party?Except for a deceased employee's dependent or a rehabilitation specialist appointed by the administrator or chosen by an employee, a person other than the employee filing a claim shall join the injured employee as a party.
What is to be proved?Except for a rehabilitation specialist appointed by the administrator or chosen by the employee, a person who files a claim must first prove a compensable injury to be eligible for benefits, or the opposing party must stipulate to or admit facts from which the board can find the employee's injury is compensable.
Other parties who should be joined--> Any person who may have a right to relief in respect to or arising out of the same transaction or series of transactions should be joined as a party.
--> Any person against whom a right to relief may exist should be joined as a party.
Death casesIn a death case, all persons, except minor children, who may be dependents or beneficiaries of the deceased employee, should either join or be joined as parties so the entire liability of the employer or carrier to the dependents or beneficiaries is determined in one proceeding. A minor child's claim must be filed by the surviving parent or other authorized representative.
Who begins proceedings?Proceedings to join a person are begun by:
--> A party filing with the board a petition to join the person and serving a copy of the petition on the person to be joined and the other parties.
--> The board or designee serving a notice to join on all parties and the person to be joined.
Requirements for petitions or notice to joinA petition or a notice to join must state the person will be joined as a party unless, within 20 days after service of the petition or notice, the person or a party files an objection with the board and serves the objection on all parties. 
What about objections?If the person to be joined or a party:
(1) objects to the joinder, an objection must be filed with the board and served on the parties and the person to be joined within 20 days after service of the petition or notice to join
(2) Fails to timely object in accordance with this subsection, the right to object to the joinder is waived, and the person is joined without further board action
What claims that have not been filed against the person served?If a claim has not been filed against the person served with a petition or notice to join, the person may object to being joined based on a defense that would bar the employee's claim, if filed.
What will be considered in determining whether to join a person?The board or designee will consider:
(1) Whether a timely objection was filed.
(2) Whether the person's presence is necessary for complete relief and due process among the parties.
(3) Whether the person's absence may affect the person's ability to protect an interest, or subject a party to a substantial risk of incurring inconsistent obligations.
(4) Whether a claim or petition was filed against the person by the employee.
(5) If a claim was not filed against the person by the employee, whether a defense to a claim, if filed by the employee, would bar the claim.
What happens if claims are joined together? the board or designee will notify the parties which case number is the master case number. After claims have been joined together:
(1) A pleading or documentary evidence filed by a party must list the master case number first and then all the other case numbers.
(2) A compensation report, controversion notice, or a notice under AS 23.30.205(f) must list only the case number assigned to the particular injury with the employer filing the report or notice.
(3) Documentary evidence filed for one of the joined cases will be filed in the master case and the evidence will be considered as part of the record in each of the joined cases.
(4) The original of the board's decision and order will be filed in the master case file, and a copy of the decision and order will be filed in each of the joined case files.
Separating the case filesAfter the board hears the joined cases and, if appropriate, the division will separate the case files and will notify the parties.
If the joined case files are separated, a pleading or documentary evidence filed thereafter by a party must list only the case number assigned to the particular injury with the employer filing the pleading or documentary evidence.

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    About The Author

    • Frank Ferreri

      Frank Ferreri, M.A., J.D. covers workers' compensation legal issues. He has published books, articles, and other material on multiple areas of employment, insurance, and disability law. Frank received his master's degree from the University of South Florida and juris doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

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