EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
APPEALS BOARD

Summary of Kitagawa, Inc. – Decision after reconsideration

The board affirmed an order closing appeal finding that good cause did not exist for the employer’s failure to timely perfect its appeal. The employer’s counsel contended that the employer should not suffer any prejudice because the delay in returning the appeal forms was beyond its control due to false representations by the attorney’s paralegal that the appeal forms had been sent to the board. The board rejected the contention reasoning that prudence dictated that an attorney who delegates responsibility of a legal matter to a non-attorney in his office should regularly review the file to make sure the assigned tasks with deadlines were performed timely. The employer further argued that reliance on the paralegal’s representations constituted excusable neglect under Code of Civil Procedure section 473(b). The Board disagreed and held that Code of Civil Procedure section 473(b) is applicable only to courts and found no authority for its application to administrative agencies or to the board.

Kitagawa, Inc., 03-9446 (Word)
Kitagawa, Inc., 03-9446 (Adobe Acrobat)

August 27,2004