Torts: Accrual Date of Workers Compensation Bad Faith Claim
France v. Arizona Counties Insurance Pool, No. 2 CQ-CV2022-0024 (App. Div. II, October 21,2022) (J.Vasquez) https://www.appeals2.az.gov/decisions/CV20220024Opinion.pdf
WORKERS COMPENSATION BAD FAITH ACTION ACCRUES WHEN INSURER DENIES COVERAGE
John France was a sergeant with the Gila County Sheriff's Department when involved in a shooting incident causing him post traumatic stress disorder. He was unable to return to work and made a worker's compensation claim which the Arizona Counties Insurance Pool [ACIP] which was denied on August 7, 2017. France contested the denial and the Industrial Commission of Arizona [ICA] denied his claim but ultimately the Arizona Supreme Court set aside the ICA award and Frances' claim was found to be compensable.
In August 2019 France sued ACIP claiming it had denied his claim in bad faith. He filed a notice of claim on July 28, 2020. The trial court granted ACIP's motion to dismiss finding the suit was time barred. The Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court.
A claim for bad faith denial of a workers compensation claim accrues on the date the claim is denied, not when a court later adjudicates the claim compensable. A claim against the state must be brought within one year preceded by a notice of claim within 180 days of the denial. Here plaintiff's claim accrued in August 2017 and needed to be filed by August 2018 to avoid the statute of limitations