Medical Providers Have Six Years to File Claims in the Division of Worker’s Compensation

On February 3, 2020, the New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed the Appellate Division’s decision in The Plastic Surgery Center, PA v. Malouf Chevrolet-Cadillac, Inc. 457 N.J. Super 565 (App. Div. 2019) that the six-year statute of limitation for contract lawsuits, applies to claims brought by medical providers for payment of services rendered to injured workers. These court rulings control this issue notwithstanding the 2012 amendment to N.J.S.A. 34:15-15 which provides exclusive jurisdiction in the workers’ compensation division for ”…any disputed medical charge arising from any claim for compensation for a work-related injury or illness shall be vested in the division.” Prior to these rulings, the Division was divided whether a medical provider charge was governed by the same two-year statute of limitation period as the injured worker or the contractual six-year limitation per N.J.S.A. 2A:14-1.

The important impact of these decisions is that employers and their insurance carriers may now have liability for claims that were otherwise closed. Medical providers now have six years from the date of service to file a claim regardless if the underlying worker’s compensation matter is closed.

Please contact the Brown & Connery Workers’ Compensation Department if you would have questions, concerns or wish to discuss the issue in greater detail.

By: Stephanie Meredith, Associate at Brown & Connery, LLP