Workmen's Compensation - Statute of Limitations - Nebraska Spreme Court Applies Discovery Rule Analysis to Deny Employee's Claim
Richey, Thomas K.
INTRODUCTION|In Novak v. Triangle Steel Co., the Nebraska Supreme Court faced the novel issue of whether the statute of limitations of the Nebraska Workmen's Compensation Act barred a workmen's compensation claim where an employee who had suffered a second injury was mistaken as to the effect of a lump sum payment and release of liability for an earlier injury. The court held that this was a mistake of law which did not suspend the running of the one year period. Moreover, the court applied to so-called"discovery rule," which prevents the statute of limitations from running until a compensable disability is or reasonably should have been discovered. The court held, however, that the application of this rule did not save the employee's claim. The compensable nature of his injury should have been discovered because in the court's view the employee had a duty to inquire at the time of his second surgery as to the nature of his injury. Thus the statute began to run more than one year before the petition was filed. The focus of this article is on the Nebraska court's application of the mistake of law analysis and discovery rule in light of the general purposes of the Nebraska Workmen's Compensation Act and the history of the discovery rule....
12 Creighton L. Rev. 466 (1978-1979)
Creighton University School of Law