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Decision Steven Mike v. Zebra Striping & Sealcoat

Date: 12/09/2010
Organization: Department of Industrial Accidents
Docket Number: DIA Board No. 024362-05
Location: Boston
  • Employee: Steven Mike
  • Employer: Zebra Striping & Sealcoat
  • Insurer: Travelers Insurance Company

COSTIGAN, J. Finding that the employee failed in his burden of proof, the administrative judge denied his claim for § 13A costs related to the insurer's voluntary payment of the employee's claim for § 36 loss of function and disfigurement benefits. The judge also found the law firm of Ellis & Associates brought and prosecuted the claim without reasonable grounds, and sua sponte, pursuant to § 14(1),1 ordered the firm to pay to the insurer the cost of the proceedings. We have the employee's appeal. We agree the award of § 14(1) penalties against the employee's attorneys was error, but otherwise affirm the judge's decision.

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1 General Laws c. 152, § 14(1), provides, in pertinent part:

If any administrative judge or administrative law judge determines that any proceedings have been brought or defended by an employee or counsel without reasonable grounds, the whole cost of the proceedings shall be assessed against the employee or counsel, whomever is responsible.