Delay at Your Peril

The Ninth Circuit in Warren Iopa v. Saltchuk-Young Brothers, et al, (9th Cir. No. 17-70415, March 4, 2019) affirmed the lower courts’ denial of the claimant’s petition for attorney fees under LHWCA as being made untimely. In this case, Mr. Iopa was successful in obtaining benefits before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for temporary disability. In the Order granting the disability payments, the ALJ recognized the claimant’s counsel right to have the employer pay his fees and costs and provided him with 21 days within which to file a fee petition. It was not until approximately 280 days later that Iopa’s counsel filed his fee petition; however, the petition improperly addressed work performed before the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) and not before the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ). At the request of the OALJ, claimant’s counsel filed a corrected petition approximately four months later. The ALJ then issued an…

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