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Knoll v. Olathe School District No. 233

Court of Appeals of Kansas

June 23, 2017

Helen Loree Knoll, Appellee,
v.
Olathe School District No. 233, Appellant.

          SYLLABUS

         Appellate courts have unlimited review of questions involving the interpretation or construction of a statute, owing no deference to the agency's or the Board's interpretation or construction.

         2.

         When a statute is plain and unambiguous, an appellate court should not speculate about the legislative intent behind that clear language, and it should refrain from reading something into the statute that is not readily found in its words. The court must give effect to the statute's express language rather than determine what the law should or should not be.

         3.

         The 2011 amendment that changed the time limitation for dismissing a workers compensation claim from 5 to 3 years and filing a motion to extend that time limitation applies retroactively to the claim for benefits filed in 2009 here because the 2011 amendment to K.S.A. 44-523(f), which was originally enacted in 2006, is procedural in nature and retrospective application would not prejudicially affect any party's substantive or vested rights.

         Appeal from Workers Compensation Board. Opinion filed June 23, 2017. Reversed and remanded with directions.

          Kip A. Kubin, of Bottaro, Kubin & Yocum, P.C., of Leawood, for appellant.

          James R. Shetlar, of James R. Shetlar Law Offices, of Overland Park, for appellee.

          Before Standridge, P.J., McAnany, J., and Hebert, S.J.

          Standridge, J.

         Olathe School District No. 233 (District) appeals from the Workers Compensation Board's (Board) decision affirming the administrative law judge's (ALJ) determination that a claim by its former employee, Helen Loree Knoll, was not time-barred under K.S.A. 2009 Supp. 44-523(f) for lack of prosecution. On appeal, the District argues that the Board erred in failing to retroactively apply the version of the statute in effect at the time Knoll filed her application for hearing. See K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 44-523(f)(1). For the reasons stated below, we agree that the changes made to the statute after Knoll's injury retroactively apply; therefore, we must reverse and remand the matter to the Board with directions to dismiss the claim.

         Facts

         The relevant facts are not in dispute. On October 29, 2009, Knoll fell in a parking lot while working for the District. As a result, Knoll began receiving medical treatment, ...


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