Estate of Joyce v. Commercial Welding Co., et al

 Summary:

 The employee in this case filed an occupational disease claim for asbestos. The employer failed to file a Notice of Controversy for nearly two years after the date of injury. After realizing its mistake, the employer voluntarily paid total compensation from the date of injury to the date of cure, but did not include any statutory interest. The hearing officer found that the employer failed to cure the 14-day violation by its failure to pay interest, but the Law Court vacated that decision. The Court determined that WCB Chapter 8, Section 7 requires interest only on “award of compensation”, which do not include 14-day violations. Therefore no interest was owed and the 14-day violation was cured when the payment was made.

The employee later died and his widow filed a claim for death benefits. The employer claimed the right to offset the death benefits by the amount paid under the 14-day violation. The hearing officer rejected this argument, as did the Law Court, finding that the 14-day violation was on the original petition for award, not on the widow’s later death benefits claim.

 
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