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Decision Rita Dixon v. Urban League of Massachusetts

Date: 11/18/2014
Organization: Department of Industrial Accidents
Docket Number: DIA Board No. 018426-10
Location: Boston
  • Employee: Rita Dixon
  • Employer: Urban League of Massachusetts
  • Insurer: National Union Fire Insurance

KOZIOL, J. The employee appeals from an October 9, 2013 decision allowing the insurer’s complaint to discontinue payment of § 34 temporary total incapacity benefits, as of July 15, 2011.1 We affirm the decision.

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1 The judge noted that the case concerned the insurer’s appeal from a § 10A conference order denying its complaint to discontinue the employee’s benefits as of July 15, 2011. (Dec. 3.) Thereafter, however, the judge treated the case as though it concerned the employee’s claim for weekly incapacity benefits, finding "the work related injuries had resolved prior to the claimed date of July 15, 2011" and ordering only "that the employee’s claim be, and hereby is, denied and dismissed." (Dec. 9.) The parties do not take issue with the semantics of the order and their briefs make clear that they understood the judge to have allowed the insurer’s complaint to discontinue benefits as of July 15, 2011. (Employee br. 3-4; Ins. br. 1.) Although the judge allowed the employee to join a claim for facet injections at the conference, and she ordered the insurer to provide that medical treatment, specific medical treatment was not an issue at the hearing. Rizzo v. M.B.T.A., 16 Mass. Workers’ Comp. Rep. 160, 161 n.3 (2002)(judicial notice taken of board file). After completion of the lay testimony, but prior to the close of the evidence, the employee’s § 34 benefits exhausted prompting the insurer to file a notice of termination of benefits as of July 15, 2013. Id. The judge later denied the employee’s July 23, 2013 motion to join a claim for § 34A benefits. Id.