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Tentative significant decisions

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January 2021

Res Judicata/Segregation Orders
In 2019, the Department issued an order affirming a 2013 lumbar degenerative disc disease segregation order. The Department alleged that the 2019 order was a mistake and asked for summary judgment. The judge agreed, determining that the Department had no authority to issue its 2019 segregation order because an unchallenged 2013 segregation order was final and binding on the issue. The Department's 2019 order cannot reasonably be read as simply saying again that, as of 2013, the worker's lumbar degenerative disc disorder was unrelated to her claim. Rather, it must be read as stating that as of the 2019 order, the worker's lumbar degenerative disc disorder continued to be unrelated. That is a different and new claim determination and is not one that can be considered res judicata by the Department's 2013 order.
In re Katherine I. Bard, Dckt. No. 19 22559 (January 26, 2021)