In this matter, the employee had an appeal before the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals in the end of 2013. The WCCA made a decision in favor of the Employee that pursuant to other Minnesota Statute and Rule would allow a recovery of costs and other expenses. There is a 45 day limit, from the date of the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals decision to file a claim for these costs.
The employee did not file a Statement of Attorney’s Fees requesting the costs until 16 months after the WCCA’s decision. The compensation judge at the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, declined to award the appellate costs as that was beyond her authority. After filing the Statement of Attorney’s Fees with the WCCA, the WCCA declined to award those costs, as any such request must be made within 45 days of the filing of the final appellate decision in the primary action. Simply put, the employee’s attorney did not file for the costs in a timely matter.
This decision serves as a reminder that the WCCA has the authority decide if an award of costs is appropriate for any matters that come before it.