The Supreme Court of Minnesota summarily affirmed the decision of the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals in its decision that a discovery order in not eligible for appeal.
Factual and Procedural Posture
Employer and insurer filed a motion compelling discovery. On February 19, 2020, a compensation judge at the Office of Administrative Hearings issued an Order Compelling Discovery. A hearing was held on March 31, 2020 regarding noncompliance with the order and the employer and insurer’s motion to strike the matter from the active trial calendar. On April 9, 2020, a compensation judge issued an order requiring the employee to sign a limited medical release and denying the employer and insurer’s motion to strike.
The employee appealed. Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 176.421, Subd. 1, a party is permitted to appeal once there is an award or disallowance of compensation or other order affecting the merits of the case. A discovery order is not eligible for appeal. They present the potential for harmful delay.
Only Orders that impact the merits of a case may be appealed. Orders regarding discovery disputes and other interlocutory appeals are not appealable.