Clarence Johnson v. A Touch of Class Painting, Inc.

Clarence Johnson v. A Touch of Class Painting, Inc., WC18-6170 (W.C.C.A. July 23, 2018)

The employee, appearing pro se, file a petition to vacate an award filed and served on September 19, 2006.

The employee completed work for the employer in late 2003 and filed a Claim Petition in September 2005 claiming Gillette injuries in October and November of 2003 to both shoulders. The employer and insurer denied that the employee was in fact an employee and denied liability for the injuries. The parties, with the employee being represented by an attorney at that time, entered a stipulation.

The employee filed a petition to vacate in 2007, which was denied. The employee then filed a Claim Petition in May 2009 alleging a work injury on October 6, 2003. The Claim Petition was dismissed by a compensation judge and an appeal was dismissed by the WCCA because the employee failed to meet the requirements of Minn. Stat. § 176.421, subd. 4. The employee filed another Claim Petition in April 2012. The petition was again dismissed and the WCCA held that the arguments raised by the employee had been considered and determined in the employee’s previous appearance and thus the claims were barred by res judicata. The employee filed a new petition to vacate in October 2014. The Court again held that res judicata applied and that the employee’s claims were considered in 2008 and 2012.

The employee filed the most recent petition to vacate on April 27, 2018.

The WCCA held that all of the information supplied by the employee to support his claim, with the exception of two medical notes, predate the settlement and thus were known, considered, and determined in the previous court decisions. For the two additional notes, it was held that they were considered in the employee’s subsequent petitions. As a result, the WCCA held that the claims were barred by res judicata.

The employer and insurer requested that the Court order sanctions. It declined to do so but warned the employee that sanctions could be awarded in the future should petitions be filed presenting the same arguments with the same evidence.