CLARENCE JOHNSON, Employee/Petitioner, v. UNIV. GOOD SAMARITAN and SENTRY INS., Employer-Insurer/Respondents and DEP’T OF EMPLOYMENT & ECON. DEV., Intervenor.

JULY 23, 2018

No. WC18-6171

JURISDICTION; STATUTES CONSTRUED – MINN. STAT. § 175A.01, subd. 5. The authority of this court is limited to the consideration of questions in law and fact arising under the workers’ compensation laws of the state. Minn. Stat. § 175A.01, subd. 5.

VACATION OF AWARD. Where the petitioner does not adequately identify the basis for the petition to vacate as required by Minn. Stat. § 176.461, the petition is denied.

    Determined by:
  1. David A. Stofferahn, Judge
  2. Patricia J. Milun, Chief Judge
  3. Deborah K. Sundquist, Judge

Attorneys: Pro Se Petitioner, Richfield, Minnesota. Kirk C. Thompson, Kirk C. Thompson Law Office, P.A., Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the Respondents.




Clarence Johnson, appearing pro se, has petitioned to vacate a Mediation Resolution/Award, served and filed on October 18, 2004. The petition is denied.


Mr. Johnson was employed by University Good Samaritan Center when he sustained injuries to his low back and left leg on June 14, 2003. The employer and its insurer denied the injuries arose out of and in the course of his employment and denied the employee’s claim for workers’ compensation benefits.

The employee, then represented by an attorney, entered into settlement discussions with the employer and insurer in August 2004. A Mediation Resolution/Award was issued on October 18, 2004. The award incorporated a stipulation for settlement which was signed by the employee, his attorney, and an attorney representing the employer and insurer.[1] The settlement was a full, final, and complete settlement of all claims that the employee might have for his work injuries, including any claims for future medical care and treatment.

On October 12, 2007, the employee filed a petition to vacate the 2004 Mediation Resolution/Award. The employee’s petition was denied. Johnson v. Univ. Good Samaritan, WC07-245 (W.C.C.A. Mar. 6, 2008). The employee filed another petition to vacate the 2004 agreement in October 2014, which was also denied. Johnson v. Univ. Good Samaritan, 75 W.C.D. 427 (W.C.C.A. 2015), summarily aff’d (Minn. Nov. 17, 2015).

The present petition was filed April 20, 2018. The employer and insurer have filed an objection to the petition.


1.   Jurisdiction

The employee raises a number of issues in his petition to vacate the 2004 Medication Resolution/Award which are outside of this court’s jurisdiction. The employee asserts that he was improperly discharged by the employer and wrongfully denied unemployment compensation. He has submitted copies of decisions made in the unemployment compensation system as well as other documents relating to his claim for unemployment compensation benefits with his petition to vacate. The employee also raises issues connected to his union membership and dues.

The authority of this court is limited to the consideration of questions in law and fact arising under the workers’ compensation laws of the state. Minn. Stat. § 175A.01, subd. 5. None of the issues listed above pertain in any way to the employee’s workers’ compensation claim or his petition to vacate and, therefore, we will not address them. We would also note that the employee raised these same issues in his previous petitions and was advised in our 2015 decision that these issues would not be considered by this court.

2.   Petition to Vacate

This court has authority to vacate or set aside an award only for cause under Minn. Stat. § 176.461. Cause is limited by statute to mutual mistake of fact, newly discovered evidence, fraud, or a substantial and unanticipated change in medical condition.

The employee does not adequately identify the basis for his petition to vacate in this matter. The attachments to the employee’s petition deal with claims that his injury was improperly denied by the employer and insurer, that the Department of Labor and Industry failed to adequately investigate his claims, that his attorney conspired with the employer and insurer during the settlement process, and that he was not awarded penalties as would have been appropriate.

We have carefully reviewed the employee’s petition and submissions. We find nothing in the employee’s petition that satisfies the requirements of the statute.

The employee also contends that Minn. Stat. § 176.461 is unconstitutional. However, as the employee noted in his petition, we do not have authority to rule on the constitutionality of a statute and we instead apply the statute to the petition presented to the court.

The employee’s petition is denied.

[1] The employee has appeared pro se in all subsequent proceedings.