National Union Fire Insurance v. McDougall

In National Union Fire Insurance v. McDougall, 773 A.2d 388 (Del. 2001), the Supreme Court has again considered the suspension of benefits in the context of an alleged "credit" asserted by the employer. In that case, the employer unilaterally asserted a credit against an alleged third-party recovery in a related tort suit. The Supreme Court held that the employer's alleged good faith' belief that the employee is not entitled to compensation is irrelevant under the statute. Id. at 393. The Supreme Court held that the obligation to pay the Board's award attached when the Board's decision became final. In language that applies equally to the case before me, the Supreme Court concluded: "In light of the unappealed 1995 Order, which does not establish a credit, there is no basis for National Union's refusal to pay the medical expenses that would preclude awarding statutory damages to McDougall. The award under the Board's 1995 Order is an "amount due" under the Act regardless of National Union's good faith objections based on its view that a credit existed. National Union's attempt in this case to relitigate whether it truly owes a Board award that has become final is incompatible with the statutory remedy outlined in Huffman v. Oliphant." Id.