Gary Walker vs. Houston Texans; Travelers Indemnity

The Houston Texans and Travelers Indemnity were involved in a workers' compensation case. The court denied the defendant's Petition for Reconsideration, finding that the defendant waived personal jurisdiction by appearing in the matter and that the Appeals Board had original jurisdiction over the workers' compensation claim. The court also admonished the defendant for attaching an arbitrator's decision that was not in evidence on an issue that was not raised at the trial level.

Houston Texans; Travelers Indemnity Gary Walker ,             Based on our review of the record and for the reasons discussed below, we will deny defendant’s Petition for Reconsideration.            In his Report, the WCJ provided the following factual summary: “Applicant was a professional football player. He testified that during his career he played both in Oakland and San Diego; he received medical treatment in California in the form of ice and medication before and after the games. “By the time of trial all the defendants were dismissed, except for Travelers, with no objection from the defendant. “The court disagrees with the Petition on the fact that jurisdiction was an issue at trial. When the court received the Petition for Reconsideration, she pulled up the pre-trial statement; while jurisdiction was listed it, was an issue that was noted by Berkeley Specialty Underwriting, who was dismissed just prior to trial. Since the issue was not Travelers’, the court remembers stating as the issues were read into the record, that there were issues by dismissed defendants which were no longer issues; there was no objection. The court, because it was not an issue, did not address jurisdiction in her decision. “The Summary and Minutes of Hearing show under cross examination that the defendant established that the applicant had pain from his injuries when he played in California and the State of California took taxes out of his paycheck.” (Report, at pp. 1-2.)            Initially, we note that defendant appears to raise jurisdiction as an issue by stating in its Petition for Reconsideration that, “defendant also listed jurisdiction as an issue in the Pre-Trial Conference Statement.” (Defendant’s Petition for Reconsideration at p. 2:10-11.) However, defendant does not articulate a jurisdictional argument beyond that statement. There are two types of jurisdiction: personal and subject matter. Here, defendant waived personal jurisdiction by appearing in this matter. More

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