Under the workers compensation statutes, the injured worker must file a claim within 30 days of his injury in order to obtain compensation (Labor Code 5400) unless the employer has notice within that time of the injury or the assertion of a claim sufficient to give it the chance to investigate.  Knowledge by the employer is imputed by statute to the employer’s workers comp. insurer. (Labor Code 5402, 5403.)  Here, an injured worker did not file a formal claim until 7 years after his injury, but there was unrebutted evidence that his employer (a family member) had knowledge of his injury the day after it was sustained.  Under these circumstances the insurer could not raise a successful laches defense to the workers comp. claim since there was no delay.  By statute the insurer had imputed knowledge of the injury and potential claim the day after the injury.  And the insurer presented no evidence to support its accusation that the employer admitted notice of injury falsely to help a family member.

Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 8 (Grimes, J.); August 11, 2016; 2016 WL 4247779