Paul Wolfe of SRTK’s Novato office recently earned a Take Nothing in a case involving an applicant who revived her case through a petition for reconsideration. The injured worker sustained an admitted injury to her lumbar spine and right shoulder in 2015. After initially retaining counsel, she later became in pro per and non compliant with discovery and litigation efforts. Her claim was ultimately dismissed for lack of prosecution in 2018, only to become revived by a petition for reconsideration alleging homelessness and lack of notice due to a lack of valid mailing address. The matter was ultimately scheduled for MSC in October of 2019 where the applicant once again failed to appear. Discovery was closed and the matter was set for trial. Trial was then continued after the applicant once again retained counsel. Efforts to expand the claim for internal body parts were successfully resisted and after several continuances at trial due to COVID and alleged health conditions asserted by the applicant, Mr. Wolfe was able to persuade the trial judge to bifurcate the S&W issue (which had been a primary barrier to informal claim resolution and settlement efforts) and obtain a Finding and Order dismissing the petition for Serious and Willful misconduct based upon the statute of limitations and for failing to establish any material evidence to support the underlying cause of action. Based upon this successful defense, the client will avoid the statutory 50% increase in compensation as well as further costs of litigation and defense estimated at over $40,000.
Great work, Paul!