Absence of evidence of prejudice nixes doctrine of laches
Case Name: Consolidated Edison Co. of N.Y., NYWCLR 73 (N.Y. W.C.B., Panel 2021).
Ruling: A Board panel found the claimant, who slipped and fell as he got out of his vehicle at the job site, established his claim for a work-related accident.
What it means: Where a claim is filed less than two months after the accident, the investigation began before the claim was filed, the reports of the investigation were readily available throughout the pendency of the claim, the employer was able to produce witnesses who had personal knowledge of the investigation, and it was able to cross-examine the doctor who treated the claimant’s pre-existing condition, the employer has failed to demonstrate any prejudice. Accordingly, the doctrine of laches does not apply.