How to File a Louisiana Workers Compensation Court Claim

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Procedures Before Filing a Disputed Claim (Form 1008) in Louisiana Workers Compensation 

Before filing a Disputed Claim for Compensation (Form 1008) in Louisiana workers compensation, certain steps must be take, and certain procedures must be followed.

First, the employee must report the accident or injury to the employer within 30 days after the accident or injury occurs or is discovered by the employee.

Once the employee receives notice of the employee's injury, the employer has 10 days to notify its workers compensation insurance company of the employee's injury, which it can do by submitting a First Report of Injury (Form 1007) to the insurance company.

An injured employee should request both a copy of the employee's accident/incident report and a copy of the First Report of Injury (Form 1007), so that the employee can have written proof of when, where and how that the accident and injury occurred.

Then, the workers compensation insurance company will investigate and process the claim, and come to a determination on what - if any - benefits it will provide to the injured worker.

The workers compensation insurance company will notify the injured worker by mail of its decision to accept or deny the claim.

At this point, if the employee's workers compensation claim is denied - either in whole or in part - then the employee can file a Disputed Claim for Compensation (Form 1008) with the Louisiana Office of Workers Compensation.

However, at this point, the employee can still first attempt to resolve the dispute with the workers compensation insurance company, either informally or through a voluntary mediation with an Office of Workers Compensation mediator.

Regardless, an injured employee can expect his or her trial to be held within 3 to 6 months of the filing of the Disputed Claim for Compensation (Form 1008).

Can the Employer or Insurance Company File a Disputed Claim (Form 1008)?

Like the injured employee, both the employer and the workers compensation insurance company have the right to file a Disputed Claim for Compensation (Form 1008) in certain circumstances.

The employer or the workers compensation insurance company may file a claim if either one:

    1. Alleges that the employee has committed fraud in his or her claim;
    2. Seeks to appeal a decision of the medical director; or
    3. Claims a dispute against a party other than the injured worker.

The disputed claim of an employer or workers compensation insurance company will then follow the path, procedure and rules as a disputed claim filed by an injured worker. 

Procedures Before Filing a Form 1008 Claim for Medical Treatment in Louisiana Workers Compensation 

Additional deadlines and procedures exist for authorization and appeal of requested medical treatment under the Louisiana's Medical Guideline Schedule.

These procedures must be followed for medical claims before an injured employee can file a Disputed Claim for Compensation (Form 1008).

Louisiana's Medical Treatment Guidelines are the rules which the OWC Medical Director uses to decide whether or not proposed medical treatment should be authorized.

A copy of the Medical Treatment Guidelines are available here.

Louisiana's "Utilization Review" rules provide appropriate procedures to be followed when an injured employee seeks approval from the workers compensation insurance company to begin or continue treatment beyond the limit of $750.

A basic overview of the Utilization Review process for paying workers compensation medical claims is as follows:

    • The process begins with the health care provider (who is seeking authorization for over $750 of medical services) submitting a request to the workers compensation insurer on a Form LWC-WC 1010 (Request of Authorization/Carrier or Self Insured Employer Response). The Form LWC-WC 1010 and all supporting medical documentation are to be faxed to the workers' compensation insurer and/or the designated utilization review representative.
    • Within five business days of receipt of the Form LWC-WC 1010, the workers compensation insurer will issue a response of either approval, denial, or approval with modification of the requested treatment on the Form LWC-WC-1010 and return the form to the requesting health care provider. 
    • The workers compensation insurer and/or utilization review representative may send a Form LWC-WC-1010A (First Request) when the medical documentation submitted with the Form LWC-WC-1010 is not sufficient to complete the review for the requested medical services.
    • The health care provider must then respond to the request for additional information within 10 business days from receipt of the Form LWC-WC-1010A. 
    • If the workers compensation insurer denies the requested treatment, or does not respond within 5 days, then within 15 calendar days of the date of denial, the health care provider must file a Form LWC-WC 1009 (Disputed Claim for Medical Treatment) to request a review by the OWCA Medical Director. The Form LWC-WC 1009 must be accompanied by a copy of the Form LWC-WC 1010 (and Form LWC-WC 1010A, if applicable), and a copy of the supporting medical records. 
    • Within 30 days after receipt of the Form LWC-WC 1009 and supporting documentation, the OWCA Medical Director will render a decision as to whether the medical treatment should be approved.
    • Any party who disagrees with the decision of the OWCA Medical Director can seek a judicial review by filing a Form LWC-WC 1008 (Disputed Claim for Compensation) with the appropriate OWCA district office within 15 days of the date on which the Medical Director's decision is mailed to the parties. The filed Form LWC-WC 1008 shall include a copy of the Form LWC-WC 1009, and a copy of the determination of the OWCA Medical Director. An expedited hearing will be held within 15-30 days, and the decision of the OWCA Medical Director may be overturned if it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that the determination was not in accordance with the Medical Treatment Guidelines. 

So again, if the workers compensation insurance company denies the medical treatment requested by the health care provider, or does not respond within 5 days, the decision can be appealed to the OWC Medical Director by filing a Form LWC-WC 1009 (Disputed Claim for Medical Treatment) within 15 calendar days of the date of denial.

A copy of the actual LWC-WC Form 1009 is available here.

In addition to the completed LWC-WC Form 1009, the following information must also be submitted, via mail, to the OWCA Medical Director:

    1. A copy of the LWC-WC Forms 1010 and 1010A;
    2. A copy of the denial from workers compensation insurance company and/or its designated Utilization Review representative; and
    3. A copy of the medical records substantiating the medical necessity of the requested services.

The OWCA Medical Director will render a decision as soon as is practicable, but in no event, not more than 30 calendar days from the date of filing.

Then, any party who disagrees with the decision of the OWCA Medical Director can seek a review by the workers compensation district Judge by filing a Form LWC-WC 1008 (Disputed Claim for Compensation) with the appropriate OWCA district office within 15 days of the date of which the Medical Director's decision is mailed to the parties.

A copy of the actual LWC-WC Form 1008 is available here.

The filed LWC-WC-1008 shall include the following:

    • A copy of the Form LWC-WC-1009 – Disputed Claim for Medical Treatment; and
    • A copy of the decision of the medical director.

The party that is filing the LWC-WC-1008 must simultaneously notify the other parties that an appeal of the medical director's decision has been filed.

An expedited hearing will be held within 15-30 days, and the decision of the OWCA Medical Director may be overturned by the OWC Judge if it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that the determination was not in accordance with the Medical Treatment Guidelines. 

How to Complete the Disputed Claim (Form 1008) in Louisiana Workers Compensation 

In Louisiana, a workers compensation court claim is typically  started with the filing of a Disputed Claim for Compensation (Form 1008), which is the functional equivalent of a “petition,” “complaint” or lawsuit.

A copy of the actual LWC-WC Form 1008 is available here.

Generally speaking, the Disputed Claim for Compensation (Form 1008) should contain:

    1. The names and addresses of the parties;
    2. A statement of the time, place, nature and cause of the injury, or the equivalent information to put the employer on notice with respect to the identity of the parties; and
    3. The specific compensation benefit which is due but not being paid or provided.

In Louisiana workers compensation, the injured employee is known as the “claimant” and the employer and/or the employer's workers compensation insurance company are known as the "defendants" in a workers compensation claim.

In a workers compensation court claim, the employer can be named as a defendant, but the workers compensation insurance company must be specifically named as a defendant. 

Third-party administrators are not considered a proper party defendant in Louisiana workers compensation claims.

The injured employee's claim is premature and thus improper, unless the Disputed Claim for Compensation (Form 1008) alleges at least one of the following:

    1. That the employee has not been paid the disability benefits due as a result of the injury;
    2. That the employee has not been provided the proper medical treatment;
    3. That the workers compensation insurance company has not paid for the medical treatment provided;
    4. That the employee has not been provided copies of medical reports after the employee's written request; or
    5. That the workers compensation insurance company has not paid penalties and attorney's fees that are owed to the employee.

Workers Compensation Hearing Rules

It is important to remember that workers compensation claims are handled through an administrative process, rather than in a district court.

For example, this means that there are no jury trials for Louisiana workers compensation claims, and that workers compensation Judges are appointed (and not elected).

So, although the workers compensation claims process is “administrative,” the system is actually a hybrid in the sense that regular Louisiana statutes and procedures - such as the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure and the Louisiana Code of Evidence - are generally applicable, although the Louisiana Workers Compensation Hearing Rules also apply, and in some instances, supersede these regular Louisiana statutes and procedures.

So an understanding of these Louisiana Workers Compensation Hearing Rules is highly advised.

The complete Louisiana Workers Compensation Hearing Rules can be found here.

Venue or Court Location Selection

A disputed claim for Louisiana workers compensation benefits is initiated by the filing of a LWC-WC Form 1008 "Disputed Claim for Compensation" with the Office of Workers' Compensation Administration.

The claim will then be assigned to one of the district offices, which will serve the named defendants.  

An injured employee who is a Louisiana domiciliary can select any one of the following district offices under which to pursue the dispute:

    1. The judicial district of the employee's parish of domicile at the time of injury;
    2. The judicial district of the parish where the injury occurred; or
    3. The judicial district of the parish of the employer's principal place of business.

And if the injured employee is not a Louisiana domiciliary but the accident occurred in Louisiana, then employee must select the judicial district of the parish where the injury occurred.

But if the injured employee is not a Louisiana domiciliary and the accident was outside of territorial limits of Louisiana, the employee must select the judicial district of the parish where contract of employment was made or “in which employment was principally localized.”

Once the venue selection has been made, it is permanent unless the workers compensation Judge, employee and workers compensation insurance company agree to transfer to another judicial district. 

Specific Tips and Instructions for Completing a Disputed Claim (Form 1008)

The Disputed Claim for Compensation (Form 1008) is mostly a “fill in the blanks” type of workers compensation form.

However, when completing the Disputed Claim for Compensation (Form 1008), it is very important to be as specific and detailed as possible, and attach additional pages to the form if necessary, in order to state all the necessary information.

If the injured worker (or ideally the worker's attorney) does not adequately state and plead the allegations of the claim, the claim could be dismissed right off the back if the attorney for the workers compensation insurance company files an exception to the claim under vagueness or ambiguity.

Additionally, when completing the Disputed Claim for Compensation (Form 1008), the employee must be truthful and accurate, and must not file the disputed claim for harassment or for any other improper purpose.

If the Form 1008 is not completed truthfully and accurately, the employee's entire claim can be dismissed under the fraud statute for "making a willful or false statement or representation for the purpose of obtaining or defeating benefit or payment."

Concerning Section 14 (average weekly wage and compensation rate allegations) of the Form 1008, this section should be completed as specifically as possible, even if that means having an attorney prepare the form, or needing to amend or change the form at a later time once the workers compensation insurance company provides sufficiently accurate and complete information and documentation to state specific numbers with accuracy and confidence.

At the end of the Form 1008, on page 2, under the category of “Other,” be sure (if applicable) to claim "statutory penalties and attorney's fees, any and all other benefits awardable under the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Act, legal interest, costs and all general and equitable relief," and list the specific reasons why.

If the employee cannot afford the Form 1008 filing fee, then the employee should at the same time file a Request For Waiver Of Payment Of Advance Costs form, a copy of which can be found here.

Last, concerning claims for medical treatment, the employee (or ideally the worker's attorney) should make sure that the treating physician/health care provider has followed the Medical Treatment Guidelines and used a Form LWC-1010 to request authorization to treat and LWC-1009 to appeal denial, whether the denial is express or implied, as detailed above.

But, if the workers compensation insurance company has denied the entire claim and all parts of it, the employee (or ideally the worker's attorney) should basically check all the appropriate claim boxes on the Form 1008, including right to treatment, choice of physician, and all related matters.

What Happens After the Form 1008 is Filed in Louisiana Workers Compensation? 

After the employee (or ideally the employee's attorney) files the Disputed Claim for Compensation (Form 1008), the Louisiana Office of Workers Compensation serves the defendant or defendants with the claim.

The defendant (the workers compensation insurance company) then has 15 days after it is served to file an answer, although it may request an extension of up to an additional 10 days.

The answer of the workers compensation insurance company shall admit or deny the allegations of the petition, state in short and concise terms the material facts upon which the defenses are based, set forth all affirmative defenses, and contain a prayer for relief sought.

Additionally, the answer of the workers compensation insurance company may request a preliminary determination hearing, which usually must be held within 90 days.

The workers compensation Judge will issue a preliminary determination within 30 days of the preliminary determination hearing, which the losing party must accept or challenge within 10 days after receipt of the preliminary determination.

If the losing party challenges or fails to comply with the judge's preliminary determination within 10 days, the dispute goes to trial before the workers compensation Judge.

Initial Telephone Conferences

Typically, a telephone conference is set within 15 days from the date on which the defendant (the workers compensation insurance company) files its answer.

In this telephone conference, the OWC court will select certain deadlines for the claim, such as: 

    1. A preliminary determination hearing shall be set within 90 days from the telephone status conference.
    2. The deadline for any discovery shall be 30 days before the preliminary determination hearing.
    3. The parties must exchange evidence 15 days before the hearing, with copies of the exhibits, the exhibit list and memorandum sent to the presiding workers' compensation Judge.

A scheduling conference order shall be forwarded to the parties within three days of the telephone status conference.

The order shall include:

    1. A list of issues to be determined;
    2. The date of the scheduled hearing;
    3. The deadline for discovery;
    4. The deadline for the exchange of exhibits;
    5. The deadline for the submission of exhibits; and
    6. The deadline for the submission of memoranda to the court.

Mediation Conferences

Once a Disputed Claim for Compensation has been filed with the Office of Workers Compensation Administration, the claim will be assigned to a workers compensation mediator.

Mediations are conducted by mediators, who are employees of the Office of Workers Compensation. 

All mediations are voluntary to attend, and neither party needs to settle a dispute at a mediation.

Basically, the entire mediation process is a voluntary attempt to settle the disputes between the parties, before moving on to the actual litigation.

The Discovery Process

Prior to a hearing with an OWC Judge, the parties are permitted to ask questions and obtain information from each other in a process known as discovery.

Full discovery in permitted in Louisiana workers compensation claims, which includes:

    1. The taking of depositions;
    2. The propounding of Interrogatories, Requests for Production of Documents, and Requests for Admission; and
    3. The issuance of subpoenas from the OWC.

OWC Trial Hearings

Following the discovery process, the workers compensation Judge presides over a hearing and renders a decision. 

Generally speaking, it takes about 3-6 months from the time that a Disputed Claim for Compensation (Form 1008) is filed until the time that the claim actually goes to trial. 

Usually, the only witnesses to testify live and in person at the trial are:

    1. The claimant;
    2. A representative of the employer;
    3. A representative of the insurance company;
    4. Any fact witnesses; and
    5. Any impeachment witnesses.

Typically, instead of appearing live at the trial, testimony from physicians or other experts is by deposition, which means that they give a deposition and then the Judge simply reads what they have said in the deposition transcript.

The record is typically is closed at the end of the trial, though the workers compensation Judges usually allow for post-trial memoranda (or written argument) to be considered.

At the conclusion of the trial, but usually only after considering the post-trial memoranda, the workers compensation Judge will render an order, decision, or award as is proper, and the OWC will serve a copy of the order, decision, or award on each party by certified mail.

Typically, the workers compensation Judge will issue an order, decision, or award no later than 45 days after the conclusion of trial, submission of all evidence, or filing of post-trial or hearing briefs, whichever occurs last.

Appeals of OWC Court Decisions

After the workers compensation Judge renders an order, decision, or award, either party may appeal to the proper circuit court of appeal for that judicial district.

The party wishing to appeal must file a motion for an order of appeal with the OWC district office, which will then prepare the record for the appellate court.

Also, an employer who appeals a decision must secure a bond.

The appeal is taken on the record - which means that no additional evidence may be submitted - and the case is reviewed using a "manifest error - clearly wrong" standard of review.

Last, an appeal from the circuit court of appeal is heard by the Louisiana Supreme Court.  

The Louisiana Statutes for Filing a Disputed Claim for Compensation in Louisiana Workers Compensation Courts

The primary Louisiana statutes regarding filing a Disputed Claim for Compensation in Louisiana workers compensation courts are La. R.S. 23:1310.1, La. R.S. 23:1310.3, La. R.S. 23:1310.4, La. R.S. 23:1310.5, La. R.S. 23:1310.7, La. R.S. 23:1310.8, and La. R.S. 23:1314, which read as follows:

§1310.1. Workers' compensation judges; creation; tenure; qualification; presiding officer; rules and regulations; hearings; assistant secretary

A. There is hereby created workers' compensation judge positions comprised of at least ten judges within the office of workers' compensation administration.

B. A workers' compensation judge, or ad hoc officer presiding over a workers' compensation adjudicatory hearing, shall have been licensed and actively engaged in the practice of the law in the state for not less than five years, and following employment as a workers' compensation judge shall not practice workers' compensation law while so employed. Any temporary ad hoc officers appointed or designated by the commission to preside over a workers' compensation adjudicatory hearing shall meet the same eligibility requirements and shall comply with the same provisions of civil service for appointment, retention, or reappointment as are required for workers' compensation judges authorized under this Section.

C. The assistant secretary shall have the authority to adopt reasonable rules and regulations, including the rules of procedure before the workers' compensation judges, according to the procedures established by the Administrative Procedure Act. All rules and regulations, properly approved and promulgated under the Administrative Procedure Act, shall be consistent with the Workers' Compensation Law and shall be binding in the administration of that law.

D. A workers' compensation judge shall be appointed by the assistant secretary of the office of worker's compensation in accordance with all applicable civil service laws, rules, and regulations for a five-year term. He shall be subject to removal by the secretary during his term of employment for cause. A workers' compensation judge may be appointed for additional terms of five years but must reapply in the same manner as new applicants.

Acts 1983, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 1, §1, eff. July 1, 1983; Acts 1985, No. 926, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986; Acts 1988, No. 938, §1, eff. July 1, 1989; Acts 1989, No. 23, §1, eff. June 15, 1989; Acts 1989, No. 43, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990; Acts 1989, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990; Acts 1991, No. 849, §1; Acts 1991, No. 892, §1; Acts 1995, No. 348, §1, eff. June 16, 1995; Acts 1997, No. 88, §1, eff. June 11, 1997; Acts 1999, No. 78, §1; Acts 2001, No. 1014, §1, eff. June 27, 2001.

{{NOTE: ACTS 1991, NO. 849, §2 PROVIDED THAT R.S. 23:1310.1(D) SHALL NOT BE APPLICABLE TO ANY ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING OFFICER APPOINTED PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 6, 1991.}}

§1310.3. Initiation of claims; voluntary mediation; procedure

A. A claim for benefits, the controversion of entitlement to benefits, or other relief under the Workers' Compensation Act shall be initiated by the filing of the appropriate form with the office of workers' compensation administration. Mailing, facsimile transmission, or electronic transmission of the form and payment of the filing fee within five days of any such mailing or transmission constitutes the initiation of a claim under R.S. 23:1209.

B. Upon receipt of the form, the assistant secretary shall assign the matter to a district. Upon receipt of the form, a district office shall effect service of process on any named defendant in any manner provided by law or by certified mail. All subsequent pleadings requiring service shall also be served in any manner provided by law or by certified mail. A defendant shall file an answer within fifteen days of service of the form or within a delay for answering granted by the workers' compensation judge not to exceed an additional ten days.

C. The filing of the answer shall be deemed timely when the answer is mailed, transmitted by facsimile, or electronic transmission on or before the day on which said delays run. If the answer is received by mail, facsimile, or electronic transmission on or before the first legal day following the expiration of the due date, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the answer was timely filed. In all cases where the presumption does not apply, the timeliness of the mailing or transmittal shall be shown by an official United States postmark, official receipt of certificate from the United States Postal Service, facsimile transmission confirmation, or electronic receipt confirmation made at the time of transmission which indicates the date thereof.

D.(1) Upon joint request of the parties, or upon order of the presiding workers' compensation judge, all parties shall engage the services of either of the following:

(a) A Louisiana Workforce Commission, office of workers' compensation administration mediator, and such mediation shall be held in the district office in which the selected mediator is assigned.

(b) A private mediator, and such mediation shall be held at a location mutually agreeable to the parties.

(2) The selection of the mediator shall be by mutual agreement of the parties.

(3) Each party shall provide a representative, in person or via telephone, to participate in the mediation conference, who has been provided with authority to enter into negotiations in a good faith effort to resolve the issue in dispute. The attorneys for the parties may participate in the mediation conference via telephone by mutual consent of the parties.

(4) Within five days of the conclusion of the mediation conference, the parties shall certify to the court, via United States mail, electronic transmission, or facsimile transmission, that a mediation conference has occurred and the results thereof.

(5) Nothing shall prohibit the parties from requesting a mediation conference prior to the filing of a disputed claim for compensation; however, neither the request nor participation in the mediation conference shall interrupt the running of prescription.

E. If any party fails to appear at a mediation conference ordered by the judge or requested by the parties after proper notice, the workers' compensation judge upon request of a party may fine the delinquent party an amount not to exceed five hundred dollars, which shall be payable to the Office of Workers' Compensation Administrative Fund. In addition, the workers' compensation judge may assess against the party failing to attend costs and reasonable attorney fees incurred by any other party in connection with the conference. The penalties provided for in this Subsection shall be assessed by the workers' compensation judge only after a contradictory hearing which shall be held prior to the hearing on the merits of the dispute.

F. Except as otherwise provided by R.S. 23:1101(B), 1361, and 1378(E), the workers' compensation judge shall be vested with original, exclusive jurisdiction over all claims or disputes arising out of this Chapter, including but not limited to workers' compensation insurance coverage disputes, group self-insurance indemnity contract disputes, employer demands for recovery for overpayment of benefits, the determination and recognition of employer credits as provided for in this Chapter, and cross-claims between employers or workers' compensation insurers or self-insurance group funds for indemnification or contribution, concursus proceedings pursuant to Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Articles 4651 et seq. concerning entitlement to workers' compensation benefits, payment for medical treatment, or attorney fees arising out of an injury subject to this Chapter.

G.(1) Any party challenging the constitutionality of any provision of this Chapter shall specially plead such an allegation in the original petition, an exception, written motion, or answer, which shall state with particularity the grounds for such an allegation.

(2) Within thirty days of the filing of any pleading raising the issue of unconstitutionality, the party making such an allegation must file a petition in a state district court of proper jurisdiction for purposes of adjudicating the claim of unconstitutionality. Such filing shall be given priority in hearing such claim not more than ten days from being presented to the district court.

(3) Failure to follow the procedures set forth in this Section shall bar any claim as to the unconstitutionality of any provision of this Chapter on appeal.

Acts 1988, No. 938, §2, eff. July 1, 1989; Acts 1989, No. 26, §1; Acts 1989, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990; Acts 1991, No. 892, §1; Acts 1992, No. 760, §1; Acts 1995, No. 348, §1, eff. June 16, 1995; Acts 1997, No. 88, §1, eff. June 11, 1997; Acts 1997, No. 94, §1, eff. June 11, 1997; Acts 2001, No. 1084, §1; Acts 2004, No. 341, §1, eff. June 18, 2004; Acts 2005, No. 257, §1; Acts 2006, No. 48, §1, eff. May 16, 2006; Acts 2010, No. 53, §1; Acts 2018, No. 612, §7, eff. July 1, 2020; Acts 2018, 2nd E.S., No. 12, §1, eff. June 12, 2018.

§1310.4. Place hearings to be held

A.(1) At the time a claim is initiated with the assistant secretary, the claimant shall elect the situs of necessary hearings by the workers' compensation judge.

(2) If the claimant is a domiciliary of the state of Louisiana, he shall be required to elect either the judicial district of the parish of his domicile at the time he sustained his injury, the judicial district of the parish where the injury occurred, or the judicial district of the parish of the principal place of business of the employer.

(3) In the event that the claimant is not a domiciliary of the state of Louisiana, the necessary hearings shall be held in the judicial district of the parish of the principal place of business of the employer, provided, that if the injury occurred within the state, the hearings shall be held in the judicial district of the parish where the injury occurred.

(4) In the event the claimant is not a domiciliary of the state of Louisiana and the accident resulting in injury occurred outside the territorial limits of the state, the hearings shall be held in the judicial district of the parish in this state wherein the contract of employment was made or in which the employment was principally localized.

B. After the election has been made as provided above, all future hearings affecting the claimant's case shall be held in the workers' compensation district so designated unless the workers' compensation judge, upon agreement by the claimant and the employer, shall transfer such cause for hearing to any other workers' compensation district agreed upon. In addition, hearings may be held in any workers' compensation district if the workers' compensation judge determines that good cause has been shown.

Acts 1988, No. 938, §2, eff. July 1, 1989; Acts 1989, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990; Acts 1991, No. 892, §1; Acts 1997, No. 88, §1, eff. June 11, 1997; Acts 2004, No. 341, §1, eff. June 18, 2004.

§1310.5. Hearing and appellate procedures; reported opinions

A.(1) Insofar as may be possible, all the evidence pertaining to each case, except as to noncontested matters, shall be heard by the workers' compensation judge initially assigned to the case. Upon the completion of such hearing or hearings, the workers' compensation judge shall make such order, decision, or award as is proper, just, and equitable in the matter.

(2) Either party feeling aggrieved by such order, decision, or award shall, after receipt by certified mail of the order, decision, or award, have the right to take an appeal to the circuit court of appeal for the judicial district elected by the claimant upon the filing of the petition. The motion and order for appeal shall be filed with the district office assigned to handle the claim, which shall be responsible for preparation of the record for the appellate court.

B. The decision of the workers' compensation judge shall be final unless an appeal is made to the appropriate circuit court of appeal. An appeal which suspends the effect or execution of an appealable judgment or order must be filed within thirty days. An appeal which does not suspend the effect or execution of an appealable judgment or order must be filed within sixty days. The delay for filing an appeal commences to run on the day after the judgment was signed or on the day after the district office has mailed the notice of judgment as required by Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Article 1913, whichever is later. Motions for new trial shall be entertained in disputes filed under this Chapter. The delay for filing an appeal when a motion for new trial has been filed shall be governed by the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure.

C. When there has been an award of benefits by the workers' compensation judge, no appeal by an employer shall be entertained by the appellate court unless the employer secures a bond with one or more sureties to be approved by the workers' compensation judge, guaranteeing that the employer will pay the amount of the award rendered therein together with interest thereon as otherwise provided by law, and all costs of the proceeding. The time limits for perfecting the bond shall be as provided in the Code of Civil Procedure, but shall not commence to run against the appellant until the appellant is notified by the workers' compensation judge as to the amount of the bond fixed in accordance with law.

D. When the only controverted issue in a death claim is the determination of proper beneficiaries entitled to receive death benefits, and the competing beneficiaries appeal the decision of the workers' compensation judge, the employer or insurance carrier may pay the proceeds, as they accrue, to the assistant secretary. The assistant secretary shall hold the proceeds in trust in an interest-bearing account during the appellate period and shall distribute the proceeds and interest to the beneficiaries designated in final award or judgment. The employer or insurance carrier shall not be taxed interest or cost on the order of the death claim if payments have been made to the assistant secretary as they accrue.

E.(1) An order for physical therapy or a work hardening program shall not be suspended during the pendency of any appeal.

(2) Regardless of whether the judgment rendered by the workers' compensation judge is in favor of the employer or the employee, when the workers' compensation judge has made a specific finding that further delay for surgery would, more likely than not, result in death, permanent disability, or irreparable injury to the claimant, any appeal of the judgment shall be entitled to preference and priority and handled on an expedited basis. In such cases, the record shall be prepared and filed within fifteen days of the granting of the order of appeal. The court of appeal shall hear the case within thirty days after the filing of the appellee's brief.

F. All workers' compensation decisions of the circuit courts of appeal shall be published opinions. The published opinions in any reporter shall identify the office of workers' compensation district from which the appeal was taken and the identity of the workers' compensation judge who rendered the judgment or award that is the subject of appeal.

Acts 1988, No. 938, §2, eff. July 1, 1989; Acts 1989, No. 26, §1; Acts 1989, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990; Acts 1989, No. 454, §9, eff. Jan. 1, 1990; Acts 1995, No. 246, §1, eff. June 14, 1995; Acts 1995, No. 348, §1, eff. June 16, 1995; Acts 1995, No. 396, §1; Acts 1997, No. 88, §1, eff. June 11, 1997; Acts 2001, No. 361, §1; Acts 2001, No. 593, §1; Acts 2003, No. 485, §1; Acts 2003, No. 709, §1.

§1310.7. Orders; subpoenas; judgments; enforcement; contempt

A. A workers' compensation judge shall have the power to enforce any order or judgment he shall deem proper which is issued pursuant to the powers and jurisdiction provided for in this Chapter and the Constitution of Louisiana. This power shall not include the authority to order a person confined.

B.(1) Direct contempt in a workers' compensation proceeding shall be as defined in Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Article 222, except that it shall be committed before or in response to a subpoena or summons of a workers' compensation judge instead of the court. In a case of direct contempt, the workers' compensation judge may assess a civil fine of up to five hundred dollars for each such contempt violation which shall be payable to the Kids Chance Scholarship Fund, Louisiana Bar Foundation.

(2) Constructive contempt in a workers' compensation proceeding shall be as defined in Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Article 224, except that it shall be concerning the workers' compensation judge and hearing procedures instead of the court. In a case of constructive contempt, the workers' compensation judge may assess a civil fine of up to five hundred dollars for each such contempt violation which shall be payable to the Kids Chance Scholarship Fund, Louisiana Bar Foundation.

(3) In any case where the workers' compensation judge has found a party in direct or constructive contempt, or has imposed sanctions on a party for conduct in connection with the litigation of a claim, the workers' compensation judge shall issue written reasons in connection with said ruling and shall report such findings to the assistantsecretary on a form promulgated by the assistant secretary, within thirty days of the ruling.

C. Workers' compensation judges shall have the authority to issue subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum as provided in Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Articles 1351 through 1354. Subpoenas issued pursuant to this Section may be served by certified mail, return receipt requested.

D. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to limit the power of the workers' compensation judge to encourage compliance with and enforcement of his orders by means other than referral to the district courts for contempt proceedings.

Acts 1988, No. 938, §2, eff. July 1, 1989; Acts 1989, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990; Acts 1992, No. 762, §1; Acts 1993, No. 884, §1; Acts 1995, No. 348, §1, eff. June 16, 1995; Acts 1997, No. 88, §1, eff. June 11, 1997; Acts 2005, No. 257, §1.

§1310.8. Jurisdiction continuing; determining as to final settlement

A.(1) The power and jurisdiction of the workers' compensation judge over each case shall be continuing and he may, upon application by a party and after a contradictory hearing, make such modifications or changes with respect to former findings or orders relating thereto if, in his opinion, it may be justified, including the right to require physical examinations as provided for in R.S. 23:1123; however, upon petition filed by the employer or insurance carrier and the injured employee or other person entitled to compensation under the Workers' Compensation Act, a workers' compensation judge shall have jurisdiction to consider the proposition of whether or not a final settlement may be had between the parties presenting such petition, subject to the provisions of law relating to settlements in workers' compensation cases.

(2) The workers' compensation judge may have a full hearing on the petition, and take testimony of physicians and others relating to the permanency or probable permanency of the injury, and take such other testimony relevant to the subject matter of such petition as the workers' compensation judge may require. The workers' compensation judge may consider such petition and dismiss the same without a hearing if in his judgment the same shall not be set for a hearing.

(3) The expenses of such hearing or investigation, including necessary medical examinations, shall be paid by the employer or insurance carrier, and such expenses may be included in the final award. If the workers' compensation judge decides it is in the best interest of both parties to said petition that a final award be made, a decision shall be rendered accordingly and the workers' compensation judge may make an award that shall be final as to the rights of all parties to said petition and thereafter the workers' compensation judge shall have no jurisdiction over any claim for the injury or any results arising from same. If the workers' compensation judge should decide the case should not be finally settled at the time of the hearing, the petition shall be dismissed without prejudice to either party, and the workers' compensation judge shall have the same jurisdiction over the matter as if said petition had not been filed.

B. Upon the motion of any party in interest, on the ground of a change in conditions, the workers' compensation judge may, after a contradictory hearing, review any award, and, on such review, may make an award ending, diminishing, or increasing the compensation previously awarded, subject to the maximum or minimum provided in the Workers' Compensation Act, and shall state his conclusions of fact and rulings of law, and the assistant secretary shall immediately send to the parties a copy of the award.

C. This Section shall not apply to the calculation of the monthly benefit amount pursuant to R.S. 23:1221(3).

D. A petition to modify a judgment awarding benefits shall be subject to the prescriptive limitations established in R.S. 23:1209.

E. A judgment denying benefits is res judicata after the claimant has exhausted his rights of appeal.

F. An award of temporary total disability benefits may be modified by the filing of a motion for modification with the same court that awarded the benefits and under the same caption and docket number without the necessity of filing a new dispute and appearing at a mediation conference. The court shall expedite the hearing on the modification proceedings in accordance with the procedure established in R.S. 23:1124(B).

Acts 1988, No. 938, §2, eff. July 1, 1989; Acts 1989, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990; Acts 1989, No. 454, §9, eff. Jan. 1, 1990; Acts 1997, No. 88, §1, eff. June 11, 1997; Acts 1999, No. 323, §1; Acts 2001, No. 1189, §1, eff. June 29, 2001; Acts 2013, No. 337, §1.

§1314.  Necessary allegations; dismissal of premature petition; dispute of benefits

A.  The presentation and filing of the petition under R.S. 23:1310.3 shall be premature unless it is alleged in the petition that:

(1)  The employee or dependent is not being or has not been paid, and the employer has refused to pay, the maximum percentage of wages to which the petitioner is entitled under this Chapter; or

(2)  The employee has not been furnished the proper medical attention, or the employer or insurer has not paid for medical attention furnished; or

(3)  The employee has not been furnished copies of the reports of examination made by the employer's medical practitioners after written request therefor has been made under this Chapter; or

(4)  The employer or insurer has not paid penalties or attorney's fees to which the employee or his dependent is entitled.

B.  The petition shall be dismissed when the allegations in Subsection (A) of this Section are denied by the employer and are shown at a time fixed by the workers' compensation judge to be without reasonable cause or foundation in fact.

C.  The workers' compensation judge shall determine whether the petition is premature and must be dismissed before proceeding with the hearing of the other issues involved with the claim.

D.  Disputes over medical treatment pursuant to the medical treatment schedule shall be premature unless a decision of the medical director has been obtained in accordance with R.S. 23:1203.1(J).

E.(1)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this Section, the employer or payor shall be permitted to file a disputed claim against an employee, his dependent, or beneficiary only when the employer or payor alleges the employee, his dependent, or beneficiary has committed fraud as provided in R.S. 23:1208 which caused the employer or payor to pay a benefit which was not due to the employee, his dependent, or beneficiary; or when the employer or payor is an aggrieved party appealing a decision of the medical director pursuant to R.S. 23:1203.1(K).

(2)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this Section, the employer or payor shall be permitted to file a disputed claim against a person or entity other than an injured employee, his dependent, or beneficiary concerning any other dispute arising under this Chapter.

Acts 1950, No. 539, §1; Acts 1983, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 1, §1, eff. July 1, 1983; Acts 1987, No. 291, §1; Acts 1988, No. 938, §1, eff. July 1, 1989; Acts 1989, No. 23, §1, eff. June 15, 1989; Acts 1989, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990; Acts 1997, No. 88, §1, eff. June 11, 1997; Acts 2012, No. 860, §1; Acts 2013, No. 337, §1.  

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