Winstead v. Martin Luther Manor/Fairview Health Svcs., 011619 MNWC, WC18-6191

Docket Nº:WC18-6191
Case Date:January 16, 2019
PAR, INC., Appellant.
No. WC18-6191
Minnesota Workers Compensation
Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals
January 16, 2019
         REHABILITATION - REHABILITATION REQUEST; PRACTICE & PROCEDURE -INTERVENTION; SETTLEMENTS - EXCLUSION. A rehabilitation provider who filed a rehabilitation request which was not certified as a dispute and was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, and who was advised to file a motion to intervene but failed to do so, was not a party. Its interests were extinguished by operation of statute, and it was not entitled to a Parker-Lindberg hearing.           David J. Klaiman, Aafedt, Forde, Gray, Monson & Hager, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the Respondents.           Michael G. Schultz, Sommerer & Schultz, PLLC, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the Appellant.           Determined by: Sean M. Quinn, Judge, Patricia J. Milun, Chief Judge, David A. Stofferahn, Judge           Compensation Judge: Sandra J. Grove          Affirmed.           OPINION           SEAN M. QUINN, Judge.          PAR appeals from a compensation judge’s determination that it was not an intervenor and thus was entitled to neither payment for rehabilitation services provided nor to a Parker-Lindberg[1] hearing.          BACKGROUND          On January 25, 2017, the employee, Valerie Winstead, suffered an alleged work-related injury while working for the self-insured employer, which denied primary liability.          On March 10, 2017, the employee, represented by attorney Michael Schultz, served and filed a claim petition seeking various benefits including “vocational services.” The claim petition identified a “rehabilitation expert reserved” as a witness. Two medical providers were notified of their right to intervene, however, because the employee did not yet have a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant (QRC) and had not received any vocational services, no intervention notice was given to any vocational services provider.          On the same day, March 10, 2017, the employee’s attorney served and filed a rehabilitation request seeking to have PAR provide vocational rehabilitation services, and a copy was mailed to PAR.          The employer filed a rehabilitation response on March 21, 2017, asserting that because primary liability had been denied, the employee should seek rehabilitation services from the Vocational Rehabilitation Unit (VRU) of the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI). This rehabilitation response was served on the employee and her attorney, and was mailed to PAR. The employer’s attorney also sent a letter to PAR, copied to Mr. Schultz, reiterating the employer’s position that because there was a denial of primary liability, vocational services should be provided by VRU rather than PAR. The letter went on to advise PAR that the employer would deny liability and payment for any services PAR provided.          On the following day, March 22, 2017, a QRC at PAR performed a vocational rehabilitation consultation. On April 4, 2017, the QRC filed a rehabilitation consultation report which stated, among other things, that the employee was not precluded from engaging in her usual and customary occupation and that she could reasonably be expected to return to suitable gainful employment with the employer. The QRC nevertheless found the employee qualified to receive rehabilitation services.          After receiving the rehabilitation consultation report, the employer filed a rehabilitation request, served on the employee and her attorney, and mailed to PAR, asking that rehabilitation services provided by PAR be terminated because the employer had denied primary liability, and because the employee was not a qualified employee for the purpose of receiving rehabilitation services. The record contains no response to this rehabilitation request from the employee or PAR. On April 18, 2017, a compensation judge consolidated the employee’s claim petition and the employer’s rehabilitation request.          PAR continued to provide various rehabilitation services. On June 16, 2017, PAR, acting pro se, filed a rehabilitation request at DLI, seeking payment for outstanding invoices for rehabilitation services totaling $1,567.76. Counsel for both the employee and the employer were served with this rehabilitation request.          In response to the employer’s attorney’s March 21...

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