Waite v. Labor Comm’n, 2017 UT 86 (Dec. 1, 2017).
Dec 1, 2017
The Utah Worker’s Compensation Act has a provision that limits the time an injured worker has to prove a claim to twelve years from the date of the accident. Petitioners, two workers who sought permanent disability benefits more than twelve years after the accident leading to their injury, argued that the provision was an unconstitutional statute of repose under the Open Courts Clause of the Utah Constitution. The Utah Supreme Court agreed that the statute acted as a statute of repose, as it was capable of cutting off a claimant’s right to assert a claim. However, the statute of repose was not unconstitutional because the statute was enacted for the valid legislative purpose of ending prolonged liability for insurance companies and employers, and the twelve-year cut-off was not arbitrary or unreasonable.