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 September 21, 2004. The hearing officer determined that the respondent’s (claimant) compensable injury of ____________, extends to and includes lumbar degenerative disc disease and radiculopathy.
The appellant (carrier) appeals, contending that the hearing officer erred in finding the extent of injury. The claimant responds, urging affirmance.
A timely appeal not having been filed, the decision and order of the hearing officer have become final pursuant to Section 410.169.
Records of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission (Commission) show that the decision of the hearing officer was signed for by the carrier’s Austin representative on October 7, 2004. Under Tex. W.C. Comm’n, 28 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 156.1(a) (Rule 156.1(a)), each carrier shall designate an Austin representative to act as an agent for receiving notice from the Commission, and, under Rule 156.1(c), notice to the carrier’s Austin representative is notice from the Commission to the carrier. Therefore, the carrier received the decision of the hearing officer on October 7, 2004, when its Austin representative received it, not on October 11, 2004, as the carrier states in its appeal.
Pursuant to Section 410.202 and Rule 143.3(e), an appeal, to be timely, must be filed or mailed not later than the 15th day after the date of receipt of the hearing officer’s decision. Thus, the last date for the carrier to timely file an appeal would be Thursday, October 28, 2004. The carrier’s appeal is dated October 29, 2004, and was received by the Commission on October 29, 2004. The appeal, having been filed after October 28, 2004, was thus untimely.
The appeal being untimely, the jurisdiction of the Appeals Panel was not properly invoked and the decision and order of the hearing officer have 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.
Thomas A. Knapp
Robert W. Potts
Margaret L. Turner