Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Falling to File Opposition to Summary Judgment Motion Not Fatal, If The Motion Itself Creates Issue of Fact

A claimant files a worker's compensation claim. Employer moves for summary judgment, arguing that the claim is untimely because the claimant filed it more than two years after discovering his injury was work-related. The Employer's own motion (which included the claimant's hearing testimony ) showed the claimant may have filed a timely claim. Claimant files no response to the motion. What happens?

The Circuit Court dismissed the case because, it held, filing a written response to a motion for summary judgment is mandatory.

The Court of Special Appeals reverses finding the even if a claimant fails to respond to a summary judgment motion, a Court still must analyze whether the moving party met its burden of proving the absence of a disputed material fact.

Despite this decision, it is obviously prudent to file a written opposition to a motion for summary judgment.

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