Shawley v. Shea-Ball

In Shawley v. Shea-Ball, 216 Va. 442, 219 S.E.2d 849 (1975), the claimant fell from a ladder and injured his left foot and ankle. The Memorandum of Agreement described the nature of the injury as "right hip and left ankle." After the statute of limitations had run, the claimant asked the commission to grant as part of his claim for a left ankle injury an additional claim for alleged back and right leg injuries. The commission refused the request and found that "'no written claim for injury to the back or right leg was filed with the Commission within the requisite time period as required . . . . Moreover and admittedly, it was only beginning after the statute had run that the first reference was made or appears in reports to any back or right leg condition.'" Id. at 443-44, 219 S.E.2d at 849. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision and held: Appellant argues here that it was not necessary for him to specify all injuries in his original claim, or to assert them within the statutory period . . . . We disagree. Clearly it is the intent of the statute that . . . an employee must assert against his employer any claim that he might have for any injury growing out of an accident. . . . It is this notice to the employer and his insurance carrier that gives them knowledge of the accident and of their potential liability. Failure to give such notice within the statutory time period from an accident would seriously handicap the employer and the carrier in determining whether or not there was in fact an injury, the nature and extent thereof, and if related to the accident. The reason for the limitation prescribed by the statute is a compelling one. Id. at 446, 219 S.E.2d at 853.