Shawley v. Shea-Ball Constr. Co

In Shawley v. Shea-Ball Constr. Co., 216 Va. 442, 446, 219 S.E.2d 849, 853 (1975), the Supreme Court of Virginia held that "within the limitation period an employee must assert against his employer any claim that he might have for any injury growing out of the accident." The facts in Shawley are very similar to the facts in this case. In Shawley, Shawley fell from a ladder and injured himself during his employment with Shea-Ball. Id. at 443, 219 S.E.2d at 850. Shea-Ball and its workmen's compensation carrier recognized the claim as compensable and entered into a memorandum of agreement with Shawley. Id. The memorandum of agreement stated Shawley injured his "'right hip and left ankle.'" Id. After Shea-Ball submitted a change in condition application, which was dismissed by the deputy commissioner, the full commission found the maximum improvement of Shawley's left leg had been attained and entered an award based on a twenty percent "permanent partial loss of the use of the left leg . . . ." Id. at 443, 219 S.E.2d at 851. On appeal to the Supreme Court, Shawley argued the commission refused to consider his additional claim for injuries to his back and right leg. Id. Shawley did not claim the injuries to his back and right leg in his original claim, and none of the medical documents submitted during the limitation period indicated he sustained an injury to his back or right leg. Id. at 443-44, 219 S.E.2d at 850-51. The Court rejected Shawley's argument that he did not need to specify all injuries in his original claim or to assert them within the limitation period. Id. at 446, 219 S.E.2d at 853. The Court wrote that the assertion of any claim growing out of the accident was necessary because 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 limitation period 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. Id.