Torres v. State ex rel. Wyo. Workers' Safety and Comp. Div

In Torres v. State ex rel. Wyo. Workers' Safety and Comp. Div, 105 P. 3d 101 (Wyo. 2005), there was no question that the employee's notice of claim was untimely. It was filed two months after the employee had left work and had been diagnosed with a hernia which the employee claimed was work related. At hearing, the employee attempted to prevail on the timeliness issue on the basis that it had not been raised by the Division. In Torres, the Court reaffirmed the significance of compliance with the statutorily mandated reporting requirements, "of course, the statutory limitations periods are of pivotal importance in circumstances like this because failure to comply with those limitation periods may be fatal to even a very meritorious claim." The Court said: "Our law on determining the date of a compensable injury is well-established. We have consistently held that when a correct diagnosis or prognosis of present or likely future disability is communicated to the claimant, the injury is discovered, it is compensable, and the statute of limitations begins to run. . . . Our previous decisions have never burdened an employee with filing claims for trivial injuries to avoid timeliness issues. The employee, however, may not ignore these requirements for compensable injuries because notice requirements and the statute of limitations exist to allow employers to investigate claims, monitor medical care, and avoid stale claims"