Superior Court County: Snohomish. Superior Court Cause No: 91-2-01178-6. Date filed in Superior Court: February 22, 1994. Superior Judge Signing: Ronald Castleberry.
Written by: Webster, J., Concurred by: Cox, J., Agid, J.
WEBSTER, J. -- In this consolidated appeal, John Bradshaw,
an injured worker, contends that the Department of Labor and Industries lacked subject matter jurisdiction to enter a recoupment order. We affirm.
In 1979, John Bradshaw, during the course of employment for Weyerhaeuser Company, suffered an electric shock. Weyerhaeuser, a self-insured employer, paid Bradshaw time loss compensation. Weyerhaeuser also investigated Bradshaw during the 1980's to evaluate the existence and/or extent of his disability. Believing that Bradshaw had fraudulently obtained benefits, Weyerhaeuser asked the Department of Labor and Industries to issue a recoupment order. The Department issued a recoupment order on November 16, 1990, requiring Bradshaw to refund the $131,319.63 in benefits, and pay a $65,659.82 penalty. See RCW 51.32.240(4). The sixty day appeal period expired without any appeal by Bradshaw.*fn1
Weyerhaeuser, relying on the recoupment order, filed a complaint against John and Sherie Bradshaw in superior court for money wrongfully had and received. Bradshaw subsequently protested the Department's order, and separately answered Weyerhaeuser's complaint. The Department denied Bradshaw's protest, and Bradshaw eventually appealed one month after the 60 day appeal period expired. The Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals (BIIA) dismissed Bradshaw's appeal as time barred. Weyerhaeuser filed a warrant in Snohomish County Superior Court representing the amount of the recoupment, and the court clerk docketed the warrant as a judgment. See RCW 51.32.240(5). Bradshaw never appealed the September 1992 BIIA decision, but fifteen months later, he moved the Board for relief from the BIIA's Decision and Order, relying on CR 60(b)(5).
Meanwhile, Weyerhaeuser moved for summary judgment on its complaint for money had and received. The court's grant of summary judgment recognized the finality of the Department's recoupment order and the existence of a judgment in favor of Weyerhaeuser, and ordered the sheriff to sell real property owned by the Bradshaws. Around the same time, the BIIA denied Bradshaw's motion for relief from its earlier Decision and Order, and Bradshaw appealed to superior court. The superior court entered judgment in favor of Weyerhaeuser and the Department.
Bradshaw appeals both judgments, contending that the Department lacked subject matter jurisdiction to enter its original recoupment order, and that ...