The Appellate Group

Rouse v. Labor Commission

Rouse v. Labor Commission, 2024 UT App 77 (Luthy, J.)

Administrative Law

Plaintiff sustained an industrial injury and brought a claim against her employer for permanent total disability compensation. In the administrative proceedings, the ALJ denied Plaintiff’s claim. Plaintiff appealed, and the Appeals Board confirmed the ALJ’s order. Plaintiff then sought judicial review. The Utah Court of Appeals declined to disturb the Appeals Board’s decision, holding:

  • Plaintiff’s due process rights were not violated when the Appeals Board reached an element of the claim that the ALJ had not addressed, and the Appeals Board did not err in its denial of her claim. Also, the ALJ’s evidentiary decisions were not an abuse of discretion.  
  • Practice tip: When a petitioner for workers’ compensation benefits seeks judicial review of the decision of the Appeals Board, it is that decision—not the ALJ’s decision awarding or denying benefits—that is the focus of judicial review. 
  • Practice tip: When a petitioner contends that an evidentiary decision by the ALJ undermined the Appeals Board’s review process, the appellate court may elect to address the petitioner’s argument.

Read the full court opinion