German v. Industrial Commission

In German v. Industrial Commission, 12 Ariz. App. 301, 469 P.2d 867 (1970), the petitioner, dissatisfied with the award he had received from the Industrial Commission, requested a hearing. Id. at 303-04, 469 P.2d at 869-70. The hearing officer found the petitioner had not sustained a compensable industrial injury and rescinded the award. Id. at 306, 469 P.2d at 872. On review, the petitioner argued the hearing officer had lacked the authority to reduce his award. See id. The petitioner relied on Industrial Commission Rule 38, which stated, in relevant part, that "every ground or complaint, or defense, to such award or decision not so specified in such petition for hearing" is waived. Id. at 305, 469 P.2d at 871. He reasoned the rule limited the hearing to the two issues he had raised in his petition: "the right to further medical benefits . . . and the determination of the loss of earning capacity." Id. at 306, 469 P.2d at 872. The Court rejected that argument and determined Rule 38 did not "apply to awards which have not become final and which have not been preceded by a formal hearing," and, thus, did not preclude the hearing officer from deciding issues not raised in the petitioner's petition for hearing. Id. at 307, 469 P.2d at 873.