Numerous lien claimants by and through their sole representative Maximum Medical filed over 1,200 Petitions for Reconsideration,challenging an administrative action which prevented them from filing in their cases because they had allegedly failed to timely file required declarations.
Thereafter, to secure uniformity of decision in the future, the Chair of the Appeals Board, upon unanimous vote of its members, assigned these cases to the Appeals Board as a whole for an en banc decision. The cases at issue are defined as: “The Cases Involving a Labor Code section 4903.05(c) Declaration filed after 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 30, 2017 through 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 3, 2017 where a Petition for Reconsideration was filed on the issue of timeliness of the filing” and are designated as The Lien Cases.
The Lien Cases were consolidated on motion of the Appeals Board for the limited purpose of making the orders herein, including designating Rodriguez v. Garden Plating Co. (ADJ8588344) as the master case and designating service of this decision to lien claimants’ representative, Maximum Medical.
The providers in the Lien Cases contend that since July 1, 2017 fell on a Saturday, the required declarations were timely filed because the declarations were filed no later than the close of business on Monday, July 3, 2017 so that the notation placed in EAMS by DWC was improper.
However, on October 3, 2017, DWC issued a Newsline stating in pertinent part that: [DWC] will lift the notation in its Electronic Adjudication Management System (EAMS) that indicates all liens with Labor Code section 4903.05(c) declarations filed on July 2 and July 3 were dismissed.
The DWC has now removed the notation as to dismissal. Accordingly, lien claimants are not aggrieved (Lab. Code, §§ 5900, 5903) and their Petitions for Reconsideration are moot. Thus, the WCAB ruled that the Petitions must be dismissed. As set forth above in the Newsline and as discussed below, the issue of timeliness must be adjudicated in each case in the first instance at the trial level. Accordingly, the WCAB made no opinion on the merits of the issue of whether the declarations were timely filed.
Given that the Petitions for Reconsideration are nearly identical and given the limited resources of the Appeals Board, consolidation of the cases for the narrow purpose of addressing the Petitions for Reconsideration was appropriate. The en banc decision shall apply to any case in which a Labor Code section 4903.05(c) Declaration was filed by a lien claimant after the close of business at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 30, 2017 through the close of business at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 3, 2017, whether or not the case number is identified in this decision.
Whether declarations filed after the close of business at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 30, 2017 through the close of business at 5:00 p.m. on Monday July 3, 2017 were timely filed is not presently at issue, and we make no determination as to the timeliness of filing of such declarations. Once such a determination has been made, any aggrieved person may seek review of such determination. (Lab. Code, §§ 5900, 5903.)