BRUCE WARRINGTON, Employee/Joint Petitioner, v. PEARL BATHS and ZURICH AM. INS. CO., Employer-Insurer/Joint Petitioners, and ROOM & BOARD and SAFECO INS. CO., Employer-Insurer/Joint Petitioners, and HEALTHPARTNERS, PDR/BROOKLYN PARK, REGIONS HOSP., and MINNEAPOLIS RADIOLOGY ASSOCS. Intervenors/Joint Petitioners.
WORKERS= COMPENSATION COURT OF APPEALS
JULY 16, 2003
VACATION OF AWARD - MUTUAL MISTAKE. Based on undisputed affidavit and documentary evidence of a mutual mistake, that is, inadvertant insertion of a page from an earlier draft version that did not included certain negotiated anguage into the final, executed Stipulation for Settlement, the parties= Joint Petition to Vacate the stipulation is granted.
Petition to vacate award granted.
Determined by Thomas L. Johnson
THOMAS L. JOHNSON, Judge
The parties have jointly petitioned this court to vacate an Award on Stipulation served and filed on March 13, 2003. Finding that good cause exists based upon mutual mistake of fact, we grant the petition.
On May 9, 1989, Bruce Warrington sustained a work-related injury while employed by Pearl Baths, then insured by Zurich Insurance Company. On January 30, 2002, the employee was employed by Room & Board, then insured for workers= compensation liability by Safeco Insurance Company. The employee filed a claim petition, seeking certain workers= compensation benefits as a result of claimed combined effects from both injury dates. Specifically, the employee claimed entitlement to certain periods of temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent partial disability benefits for a total of 3.5 percent impairment to the body as a whole, and certain medical expenses. The settlement was negotiated between the parties and the intervenors. A stipulation, as negotiated between the parties, was to include specific language. In the assimilation of the final version of the Stipulation for Settlement provided to the Office of Administrative Hearings, due to clerical error, one of the pages was errantly misplaced with an earlier version. The earlier version did not include specific language which the parties have in the final version and which had been drafted to have been so inserted. All parties agree that it was understood that the final version would include the specific language. All parties, including the intervenors, jointly have petitioned for vacation of the stipulation based upon this mistake.
This court=s authority to vacate a compensation judge=s award is found in Minn. Stat. ' 176.461 and, with regard to settlements, Minn. Stat. ' 176.521, subd. 3. An award may be set aside upon a showing of good cause. Good cause has long been held to exist if (a) the award was based upon fraud; (b) the award was based upon mutual mistake; (c) there is newly discovered evidence; or (d) there is a substantial change in the employee=s condition. Stewart v. Rahr Malting Co., 435 N.W.2d 538, 41 W.C.D. 648 (Minn. 1989). These bases were codified in Minn. Stat. ' 176.461, which provided that any mistake, in order to be good cause for vacation, must be Aa mutual mistake of fact.@ Minn. Stat. ' 176.461 (emphasis added). The supreme court has indicated that the language of the 1992 codification, see Franke v. Fabcon, Inc., 509 N.W.2d 373, 377, 49 W.C.D. 520, 525 (Minn. 1993), and this court has concluded that vacation of an award on stipulation in general is governed by the law in effect on the date of the stipulation and award. Lapic v. Independent Sch. Dist. #721, slip op. (W.C.C.A. Aug. 4, 1997), n. 1, citing Franke.
In this case, there is undisputed affidavit and documentary evidence that the mistake alleged was a mutual mistake. Finding good cause, we grant the joint petition of the parties to vacate the Award on Stipulation in this matter, served and filed March 13, 2003.