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Fuentes v. Cavco Industries, Inc.

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Court: Idaho Supreme Court – Civil

Docket: 48419

Opinion Date: January 5, 2022

Judge: Stegner

Areas of Law: Civil Procedure, Insurance Law, Labor & Employment Law, Personal Injury

This case law update is brought to you by Freeway Law auto accident and personal injury lawyers in Orange County. The following is not one of our cases, but it is of some significance, and we thought we should share it with our readers for informational purposes. The information above is for informational purposes only and not to be construed as legal advice.

Taleetha Fuentes filed a worker’s compensation complaint against her employer Cavco Industries and Cavco’s surety, Sentry Casualty Company (collectively, Defendants). Fuentes filed her complaint in July 2019, and the Defendants denied the claim. During discovery, the Defendants filed a motion to compel in October 2019, which was granted. Following no response from Fuentes, the Defendants filed a motion for sanctions, and Fuentes again did not respond. On December 19, 2019, the full Idaho Industrial Commission issued an Order Dismissing Complaint, citing Industrial Commission Judicial Rule of Procedure (JRP) 12(B). Five months later, in May 2020, Fuentes responded to the initial discovery requests and moved to retain the case on the active calendar, but her filing and motion were returned “unfiled” as explained in an email from the assigned Referee. Fuentes also moved for reconsideration of the dismissal and filed a petition to vacate the order of dismissal under JRP 15. The Commission denied both motions. The Idaho Supreme Court determined the Commission acted in excess of its powers when it misapplied JRP12(B) in the initial dismissal order, and in applying JRP 16 to Fuentes’ case. Accordingly, the Court reversed the Commission’s decision to dismiss Fuentes’ case and vacated the order. The case was remanded for further proceedings.

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