Menu Close

Sergio Perez, an Arizona resident, was hired by Hilltown Packing, a California based company to work at their facility in Arizona. The job offer and the acceptance of that offer were both made in Arizona. While working in Arizona, Perez had an industrial injury. He received medical treatment in Arizona.

He then moved on his own back to his primary residence in California where he continued to receive treatment and ultimately filed a California Workers’ Compensation claim. When he was released for light duty work, he returned to Arizona.

More than 90 days after the injury, the employer denied the California claim based upon the argument that there was no jurisdiction to proceed before the California WCAB. The WCJ agreed with the employer and found that there was no California jurisdiction over the Arizona injury and dismissed the application. Sergio Perez filed a petition for reconsideration.

The WCAB panel agreed with the WCJ, finding that there was no jurisdiction to proceed in California in the case of Perez v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd., 2013 Cal. Wrk. Comp. LEXIS 91.

The ruling on jurisdiction was consistent with well established law. Support for the finding exists in a number of published opinions such as Ledbetter Direction Corp. v. W.C.A.B. (Salvaggio) (1984) 156 Cal. App. 3d 1097, 203 Cal. Rptr. 396, 49 Cal. Comp. Cases 447.which was cited by the WCAB panel.

Another one of the issues raised by Perez in his Petition for Reconsideration was that the employer was “estopped” from raising jurisdiction as an issue since that issue was raised for the first time more than 90 days following the injury. The WCAB disagreed holding that Labor Code § 5402 “merely creates a presumption that a compensable industrial injury was sustained if not denied within 90 days. It does not establish that the WCAB has jurisdiction to award benefits for that compensable injury.” The WCAB also pointed out, as did the WCJ, that objections to subject matter jurisdiction may be raised at any time and that jurisdiction cannot be conferred by consent, waiver, or estoppel.