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Levy v. District of Columbia Dept. of Employment Services

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

February 6, 2014

Rayburn L. LEVY, Petitioner,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SERVICES, Respondent, and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Intervenor.

Argued Oct. 10, 2013.

Page 519

Benjamin T. Boscolo, Greenbelt, MD, for petitioner.

Irvin B. Nathan, Attorney General for the District of Columbia, Todd S. Kim, Solicitor General, and Donna M. Murasky, Deputy Solicitor General, filed a statement in lieu of brief.

Donna J. Henderson, with whom Carol B. O'Keeffe and Mark F. Sullivan, Washington, DC, were on the brief, for intervenor.

Before GLICKMAN and McLEESE, Associate Judges, and NEWMAN, Senior Judge.

McLEESE, Associate Judge:

Petitioner Rayburn Levy challenges a decision of the Compensation Review Board (" CRB" ) rejecting his claim for workers' compensation as untimely. We vacate and remand for further proceedings, so that the CRB can more fully explain the basis for its decision.

I.

In 1992, Mr. Levy injured his left knee while working as a station attendant for intervenor, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (" WMATA" ). Mr. Levy altered his gait to compensate for the left-knee injury, which in turn caused damage to his right knee. After surgery on his left knee, Mr. Levy returned to his previous job.

In 1998, Mr. Levy and WMATA agreed that Mr. Levy's medical condition had reached maximum improvement. Mr. Levy and WMATA memorialized their agreement in a stipulation. The stipulation stated that Mr. Levy had suffered a 7% permanent partial disability of his left leg and a 2.5% permanent partial disability of his right leg; that Mr. Levy was entitled to compensation of $487.70 per week for approximately twenty-seven weeks; and that WMATA would pay Mr. Levy's future medical expenses related to the injury. The parties agreed to submit the stipulation to the Office of Workers' Compensation (" OWC" ) for its approval, and they requested the approval be " reduced to an Order." In June 1998, a senior claims examiner at OWC issued the requested order approving the stipulation.

Mr. Levy retired from WMATA in 1999. In 2002, he sought temporary total disability benefits, after he had surgery on his right knee. In 2003, an ALJ denied Mr. Levy's claim, because Mr. Levy had not " reached maximum medical improvement"

Page 520

and had not shown " an increase in his percentage of permanent partial disability." In 2006, the CRB affirmed, and Mr. Levy did not seek review of the CRB's ruling.

In 2011, Mr. Levy sought an award for a 37% permanent partial disability of his right leg. WMATA moved to dismiss, arguing among other things that (1) D.C.Code § 32-1524(a) (2012 Repl.) prohibits claimants from seeking modification of a prior compensation order more than one year after they receive their last payment of compensation; (2) the OWC's order approving the parties' 1998 stipulation was a prior " compensation order" under § 32-1524; (3) Mr. Levy was ...


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