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Anderson v. General Motors, LLC

Superior Court of Delaware

June 27, 2019

ROLAND C. ANDERSON, Appellant,
v.
GENERAL MOTORS, LLC, Appellee.

          Submitted: March 18, 2019

         Appeal From the Industrial Accident Board.

          Roland C. Anderson, Pro Se Appellant.

          Lori A. Brewington, Esquire and Renee M. Mosley, Esquire, RICHARDS LAYTON & FINGER, P.A., Wilmington, Delaware. Attorneys for Appellee.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Charles E. Butler, Judge.

         FACTS

         Roland C. Anderson ("Anderson") worked for General Motors, LLC ("GM") for six months in 1982. Fifteen years later, he filed a claim with the Industrial Accident Board ("IAB") alleging he suffered a work-related shoulder injury while so employed. The IAB determined that Anderson's claim was barred by the statute of limitations. Shortly thereafter, Anderson took his first appeal to this Court. The Court remanded Anderson's appeal to the IAB for a determination of the "trigger date" to establish the statute of limitations. The IAB ruled that Anderson knew or should have known about the injury during the six months that he worked at GM in 1982.

         Several more rounds of appeals followed between the IAB and Superior Court, with Mr. Anderson appealing IAB dismissals to the Superior Court and the Superior Court in turn affirming the IAB dismissals. Once in 2000, Anderson filed a writ of certiorari to the Delaware Supreme Court. The Supreme Court upheld the IAB's dismissal of the case.

         All was quiet, for more than fifteen years. Then in November of 2016, Anderson filed a debt action in Justice of the Peace Court against GM's insurance claims administrator, Sedgwick, alleging that GM had informed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS") that it was the primary insurance carrier responsible for Anderson's workers' compensation claim. Consideration of the debt action was summarily denied when the J.P. Court concluded that it lacked jurisdiction to consider the matter.[1]

         Around September 2017, Anderson incurred medical expenses related to an arthritic shoulder. He submitted the bills to CMS for payment. It appears that when asked by CMS, Anderson told CMS that the injury for which he sought compensation was related to his work related shoulder injury from back in 1982. Apparently based on nothing more than Anderson's say so, CMS wrote to GM and assigned GM liability for $1, 800.87 in conditional payments for Anderson's health care expenses, but noted that GM was welcome to dispute the claim of its liability for conditional payments if GM believed the assignment was inaccurate.

         In August 2018, GM wrote to CMS denying responsibility, attaching the orders from all three courts that had dismissed Anderson's claims against GM as proof. A month later, in September 2018, Appellant filed a motion to reopen his original IAB claim, stating that he had new evidence and requesting an expedited hearing. GM promptly moved to dismiss.

         The IAB gave Anderson a hearing in October 2018, at which time he claimed his new evidence was a portion of the letter from CMS to GM. Anderson alleges that the letter proves that GM committed fraud in denying its liability for his 1982 worker's compensation claim. The IAB ruled that the CMS letter does not constitute new evidence. The IAB also ruled that there was no evidence that GM misled the IAB, the courts or Anderson or that GM had accepted liability for his CMS claim. This appeal followed.

         DISCUSSION

         The only reason this case has revisited the Court's docket so long after its resolution is the letter from CMS and the ...


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