Alexander v. PANEL, No. 00CA1061.

Docket NºNo. 00CA1061.
Citation42 P.3d 46
Case DateAugust 16, 2001
CourtCourt of Appeals of Colorado

42 P.3d 46

Esmel ALEXANDER, Petitioner,
v.
INDUSTRIAL CLAIM APPEALS OFFICE OF THE STATE OF COLORADO; Ebasco Constructors, Inc.; and Colorado Insurance Guaranty Association, Respondents

No. 00CA1061.

Colorado Court of Appeals, Div. V.

August 16, 2001.

Rehearing Denied October 25, 2001.


Certiorari Denied February 25, 2002.1

Withers, Seidman & Rice, P.C., Charles E. Withers, Boulder, CO, for Petitioner.

42 P.3d 47
No Appearance for Respondents Industrial Claim Appeals Office and Ebasco Constructors, Inc

Kennedy & Christopher, P.C., John R. Mann, Denver, CO; Law Offices of Steven J. Picardi, P.C., Steven J. Picardi, Denver, CO, for Respondent Colorado Insurance Guaranty Association.

Opinion by Judge KAPELKE.

In this workers' compensation case, petitioner, Esmel Alexander (claimant), seeks review of a final order of the Industrial Claim Appeals Office (Panel), affirming an order of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) dismissing his claim against respondent, Colorado Insurance Guaranty Association (CIGA). Claimant contends that § 10-4-508(1)(a), C.R.S.2000, which limits the claims CIGA must pay, violates his constitutional rights to due process and equal protection and also denies him access to the courts in violation of article II, section 6 of the Colorado Constitution. We disagree with his contentions and therefore affirm.

In 1997, claimant filed with the Colorado Division of Labor a claim for workers' compensation benefits. He alleged that while he worked for Ebasco Constructors, Inc. (employer), he was exposed to asbestos and as a result became permanently disabled in 1997. He further alleged that the last injurious exposure was in 1986 and that employer's workers' compensation insurer at that time was Employers National Insurance Company (insurer).

However, insurer had become insolvent and had been placed in permanent receivership by a Texas court in 1994. That court established July 31, 1995, as the deadline for filing proofs of claim with the receiver. Claimant did not file a proof of claim with the Texas receiver until 1998.

In this Colorado proceeding, CIGA was substituted for the insurer and thereafter moved for summary judgment. CIGA argued that because claimant had failed to file his proof of claim by the 1995 deadline established by the Texas court, his claim was not a "covered claim" that CIGA was required to pay pursuant to § 10-4-508(1)(a). Claimant filed a cross-motion for summary judgment, arguing that § 10-4-508(1)(a) was unconstitutional.

The ALJ granted CIGA's motion for summary judgment and dismissed claimant's claim. The Panel affirmed. Both the ALJ and the Panel declined to address claimant's constitutional arguments, noting that they lacked authority to do so.

I.

Claimant first contends that § 10-4-508(1)(a) violates his constitutional rights to substantive due process and equal protection. We disagree.

CIGA is a nonprofit, unincorporated legal entity created by the Colorado Insurance Guaranty Association Act (the Act), § 10-4-501, et seq., C.R.S.2000, to create a means for insureds to recover on claims against insolvent insurers. See Colorado Ins. Guar. Ass'n v. Harris, 827 P.2d 1139 (Colo.1992).

The purposes of the Act are "to provide a mechanism for the payment of covered claims under certain insurance policies, to avoid excessive delay in payment and financial loss to claimants or policyholders because of the insolvency of an insurer, to assist in the detection and prevention of insurer insolvencies, and to provide an association to assess the cost of such protection among insurers." Section 10-4-502, C.R.S. 2000.

The Act, in combination with the Uniform Liquidation Act, § 10-3-501, et seq., C.R.S. 2000, establishes a procedure for claimants to file claims within their own state even though the receiver of the insolvent insurer is in another state. The receiver is bound by CIGA's settlements of covered claims. Section 10-4-511, C.R.S.2000.

CIGA steps into the shoes of the insolvent insurer to pay claims within the coverage and limits of the insurance policy. Barr v. Colorado Ins. Guar. Ass'n, 926 P.2d 102, 104 (Colo.App.1995). Section 10-4-508(1)(a) states that CIGA "shall pay the full amount of any covered claim...

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8 practice notes
  • Colorado Ins. Guar. Ass'n v. Menor, No. 05CA2483.
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • May 3, 2007
    ...for the claim and continued to pay workers' compensation benefits to Menor thereafter. See Alexander v. Indus. Claim Appeals Office, 42 P.3d 46, 47 (Colo.App.2001) ("CIGA is a nonprofit, unincorporated legal entity created by the [Act] . . . to create a means for insureds to recover on......
  • Colo. Ins. Guaranty Ass'n v. Sunstate Equip. Co., Court of Appeals No. 15CA0288
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • April 21, 2016
    ...that provides "a means for insureds to recover on claims against insolvent insurers." Alexander v. Indus. Claim Appeals Office, 42 P.3d 46, 47 (Colo.App.2001). It does so by stepping "into the shoes of the insolvent insurer to pay claims within the coverage and limits of the ......
  • HCM Healthcare, Inc. v. Cal. Ins. Guarantee Ass'n, No. B213373.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 28, 2010
    ...for purposes of Michigan's 'covered claims' statute." ( Id. at p. 462; see also115 Cal.Rptr.3d 191Alexander v. Panel (Colo.App.2001) 42 P.3d 46, 48 [noted under Colorado statute similar to California's that "courts in other states having insurance guaranty statutes similar to the ......
  • Peregoy v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office, No. 03CA0557.
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • January 29, 2004
    ...that a classification serves a legitimate purpose, a court must assume that those facts exist. Alexander v. Indus. Claim Appeals Office, 42 P.3d 46 The threshold question in an equal protection challenge is whether the legislation results in dissimilar treatment of similarly situated indivi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 cases
  • Colorado Ins. Guar. Ass'n v. Menor, No. 05CA2483.
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • May 3, 2007
    ...for the claim and continued to pay workers' compensation benefits to Menor thereafter. See Alexander v. Indus. Claim Appeals Office, 42 P.3d 46, 47 (Colo.App.2001) ("CIGA is a nonprofit, unincorporated legal entity created by the [Act] . . . to create a means for insureds to recover on......
  • Colo. Ins. Guaranty Ass'n v. Sunstate Equip. Co., Court of Appeals No. 15CA0288
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • April 21, 2016
    ...that provides "a means for insureds to recover on claims against insolvent insurers." Alexander v. Indus. Claim Appeals Office, 42 P.3d 46, 47 (Colo.App.2001). It does so by stepping "into the shoes of the insolvent insurer to pay claims within the coverage and limits of the ......
  • HCM Healthcare, Inc. v. Cal. Ins. Guarantee Ass'n, No. B213373.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 28, 2010
    ...for purposes of Michigan's 'covered claims' statute." ( Id. at p. 462; see also115 Cal.Rptr.3d 191Alexander v. Panel (Colo.App.2001) 42 P.3d 46, 48 [noted under Colorado statute similar to California's that "courts in other states having insurance guaranty statutes similar to the ......
  • Peregoy v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office, No. 03CA0557.
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • January 29, 2004
    ...that a classification serves a legitimate purpose, a court must assume that those facts exist. Alexander v. Indus. Claim Appeals Office, 42 P.3d 46 The threshold question in an equal protection challenge is whether the legislation results in dissimilar treatment of similarly situated indivi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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