Uzoh v. Industrial Com'n of Arizona, 2

Decision Date09 June 1988
Docket NumberNo. 2,CA-IC,2
Citation762 P.2d 600,158 Ariz. 313
PartiesAzuka UZOH, Petitioner Employee, v. The INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION OF ARIZONA, Respondent, Sunwest Builders, Shepis Development, Conquest Sunwest, Respondent Employers, State Compensation Fund, No Insurance, No Insurance, Respondent Carriers. 88-0004.
CourtArizona Court of Appeals
OPINION

LACAGNINA, Chief Judge.

Azuka Uzoh appeals from the administrative law judge's dismissal of Uzoh's claim on the ground that he had waived his rights to compensation pursuant to A.R.S. § 23-1024(B) and that his election under that statute deprived the Industrial Commission of jurisdiction to consider his entitlement to compensation from the respondent employers. Uzoh argues that the administrative law judge erred in dismissing his claim for lack of jurisdiction because a determination as to who was his employer had not been made. We disagree and affirm.

FACTS

On May 29, 1986, Uzoh sustained an injury while working at a location being developed by Shepis Development (Shepis). On June 6, 1986, he signed a report of injury claiming that he worked for Shepis. On July 9, he filed a complaint in superior court pursuant to A.R.S. § 23-907(A) alleging that Shepis was his employer and that Shepis had failed to procure workers' compensation coverage. On May 28, 1987, Uzoh filed a new employee report of injury listing both Sunwest Builders and Shepis as his employers. The same day he also filed a new complaint in superior court naming Shepis, Sunwest, Conquest Sunwest, and two other parties as defendants. The complaint alleged that Uzoh was an employee of Shepis and further alleged negligent supervision of employees on the part of Shepis, Sunwest and Conquest Sunwest.

Meanwhile, on June 4, 1987, pursuant to a request by counsel for Uzoh, Shepis was joined in the commission proceedings. On July 9, the administrative law judge held an informal conference among all of the above-listed parties to determine who was Uzoh's employer and whether that employer had coverage. On July 10, the No Insurance Section of the Industrial Commission issued noncompensable awards as to Shepis and Conquest Sunwest. On July 13, the State Compensation Fund issued a notice denying the claim against Sunwest Builders stating that "Claimant is not an employee of Sunwest Builders." On August 13, pursuant to Uzoh's request for hearing to protest the awards, Shepis, State Compensation Fund and the No Insurance Section moved to dismiss all of the defendants from the proceedings on the basis of lack of jurisdiction because Uzoh had elected to pursue civil remedies and had therefore waived any compensation under A.R.S. § 23-1024(B). The administrative law judge dismissed the claim and affirmed her decision upon review. From her decision, Uzoh filed this petition for a special action.

A.R.S. § 23-1024(B) ELECTION

The issue raised concerns the jurisdiction of the Industrial Commission, when that jurisdiction is exclusive and when it is concurrent with that of the superior court. The administrative law judge has the exclusive authority to determine initially...

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3 cases
  • Mitchell v. Gamble
    • United States
    • Arizona Court of Appeals
    • March 31, 2004
    ...Commission and the courts have concurrent jurisdiction to determine employment status. Id.; see also Uzoh v. Indus. Comm'n, 158 Ariz. 313, 314, 762 P.2d 600, 601 (App.1988). ? 10 In addressing the issue of whether appellees were acting as school "employees" at the time of the accident, both......
  • Mitchell v. Gamble, 2 CA-CV 2003-0131 (Ariz. App. 4/6/2004)
    • United States
    • Arizona Court of Appeals
    • April 6, 2004
    ...Commission and the courts have concurrent jurisdiction to determine employment status. Id.; see also Uzoh v. Indus. Comm'n, 158 Ariz. 313, 314, 762 P.2d 600, 601 (App. 1988). ¶10 In addressing the issue of whether appellees were acting as school "employees" at the time of the accident, both......
  • Juarez v. Cc Services, Inc.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Arizona
    • June 14, 2006
    ...working for an uninsured "employer" may seek compensation from a "Special Fund" established by statute. See Uzoh v. Indus. Comm'n of Ariz., 158 Ariz. 313, 762 P.2d 600, 601 (1988) (stating that when injured employee learned his employer was uninsured he could either file suit in superior co......

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