This appeal arises pursuant to the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act, TEX. LAB. CODE ANN. § 401.001 et seq. (1989 Act). A contested case hearing was held on November 21, 2001. The hearing officer determined that the appellant (claimant herein) did not sustain a compensable injury on ___________, and had no disability. The claimant appeals on sufficiency grounds. The respondent (carrier herein) replies that the claimant did not file his appeal timely and therefore failed to invoke the jurisdiction of the Appeals Panel, and otherwise urges affirmance.
A timely appeal not having been filed, the decision and order of the hearing officer have become final pursuant to Section 410.169.
Pursuant to Section 410.202(a), a written request for appeal must be filed within 15 days of the date of receipt of the hearing officer's decision. Section 410.202 was amended effective June 17, 2001, to exclude Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays listed in the Texas Government Code from the computation of time in which to file an appeal. Section 410.202(d). Tex. W.C. Comm’n, 28 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 143.3(c) (Rule 143.3(c)) provides that an appeal is presumed to have been timely filed if it is mailed not later than the 15th day after the date of receipt of the hearing officer's decision and received by the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission (Commission) not later than the 20th day after the date of receipt of the hearing officer's decision. Both portions of Rule 143.3(c) must be satisfied in order for an appeal to be timely. Texas Workers' Compensation Commission Appeal No. 002806, decided January 17, 2001.
Commission records indicate that the hearing officer's decision was mailed to the claimant on November 30, 2001. The claimant was deemed to have received the hearing officer's decision on December 5, 2001, five days after it was mailed. Rule 102.5(d). Accordingly, the last day for the claimant to file an appeal was December 31, 2001, a Monday. The claimant mailed a copy of her appeal to the Commission in an envelope postmarked January 4, 2002, and this appeal was stamped received by the Commission on January 8, 2002. The appeal is untimely.
The appeal being untimely, the jurisdiction of the Appeals Panel was not properly invoked and the decision and order of the hearing officer has become final under Section 410.169.
The true corporate name of the insurance carrier is AMERICAN CASUALTY COMPANY OF READING, PENNSYLVANIA and the name and address of its registered agent for service of process is
CT CORPORATION SYSTEM
350 NORTH ST. PAUL STREET
DALLAS, TEXAS 75201.
Gary L. Kilgore
Terri Kay Oliver
Robert W. Potts