1. In a
workers compensation case, the substantive rights between the
parties are determined by the law in effect on the date of
injury. However, amendments to the compensation act that are
merely procedural or remedial in nature and that do not
prejudicially affect substantive rights of the parties apply
to pending cases.
Generally, statutes of limitations are considered procedural.
3. If a
workers compensation claimant filed an application for
hearing under K.S.A. 44-534 after K.S.A. 2011 Supp.
44-523(f)(1) took effect, the 2011 statute governs the claim.
of the judgment of the Court of Appeals in 54 Kan.App.2d 335,
398 P.3d 223 (2017).
from Workers Compensation Board.
Kubin, of Bottaro, Kubin & Yocum, P.C., of Leawood,
argued the cause and was on the brief for appellant.
R. Shetlar, of James R. Shetlar Law Offices, of Overland
Park, argued the cause and was on the brief for appellee.
Knoll filed an application for hearing with the Kansas
Division of Workers Compensation. When the claim did not
proceed to final hearing within three years from that filing
and Knoll had not filed a motion for extension, Olathe School
District (school district) moved for the dismissal of the
claim. The administrative law judge (ALJ) denied the motion,
reasoning that Knoll had five years to proceed to final
hearing or file a motion under K.S.A. 2009 Supp. 44-523(f).
The Kansas Workers Compensation Board (the Board) affirmed.
The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that K.S.A. 2011 Supp.
44-523(f)(1) controlled Knoll's claim and required its
dismissal when Knoll did not file a motion for extension
within three years of filing her application for hearing.
Knoll challenges that decision. We affirm.
and Procedural Background
was injured while working for the school district on October
29, 2009. Knoll filed an application for hearing with the
Kansas Division of Workers Compensation on November 14, 2011.
On February 15, 2015, the school district and its insurer
moved to have Knoll's claim dismissed pursuant to K.S.A.
2011 Supp. 44-523(f)(1), because the claim had not proceeded
to a final hearing within three years of the filing of an
application for hearing.
March 4, 2015, Knoll filed a motion for an extension of her
claim, alleging good cause. The school district filed a
motion in opposition and Knoll responded. In her response,
Knoll acknowledged that K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 44-523(f)(1)
governed her claim since it was the law in effect when she
filed the application for hearing, but she argued that it did
not create a time limit on filing a motion for extension. On
May 4, 2015, Knoll amended this response. She argued that the
motion to dismiss should be denied because K.S.A. 2009 Supp.
44-523(f) actually governed her claim and that version of the
statute gives a claimant five years from the date of filing
an application for hearing to file a motion for extension.
considering the parties' motions, the ALJ concluded that
the 2009 version of K.S.A. 44-523 governed Knoll's claim
and, therefore, her motion for extension was timely. As a
result, it denied the school district's motion to
dismiss. The case proceeded to final hearing and the ALJ
entered an award of compensation. The school district sought
review with the Board of the ALJ's denial of the motion
to dismiss. The Board affirmed the denial and the school
district appealed. The Court of Appeals disagreed with the
ALJ and the Board. It concluded that the 2011 version of
K.S.A. 44-523 applied retroactively to Knoll's claim and
required that Knoll file her motion for extension within
three years. Because she had not filed her motion within that
time limit, the panel held that the ALJ should have granted