In 1943 appellee Rowley, filed claim with the Department of Labor and Industry, under the Washington Industrial Insurance Act, for compensation for aggravation of an injury suffered, while employed by appellant in 1937, in the course of his employment. The claim was barred by a provision of the then existing statute which placed a three year limit on the filing of such claims; but by amendment in 1941 the time limit was extended to five years, with a proviso, under which appellee claimed, that "any such applicant whose compensation has heretofore been established or terminated shall have five years from the taking effect of this act within which to apply for such readjustment." Under neither law was a time limit imposed on the department's power to reopen the claim on its own motion to determine aggravation or termination of injuries. Under the Washington Act individual cost experience comprised 60 per cent of the tax chargeable to appellant the following year for the maintenance of the Industrial Insurance Fund. Since the allowance of Rowley's once-outlawed claim would result in an increased charge against appellant by reference to the individual cost experience factor, appellant challenged the proviso as a retroactive measure which deprived it of its property without due process of law contrary to the Fourteenth Amendment. The Washington Supreme Court reversed the department's denial of Rowley's claim. On appeal to the United States Supreme Court, held, appeal dismissed. An employer under the Washington Industrial Insurance Act does not suffer such a certain or substantial injury in the granting of an award to his employee that he may contest the constitutionality of the award: Two Justices voted to affirm the judgment below. Gange Lumber Company v. Rowley, (U.S. 1945) 66 S. Ct. 125.
James R. Bliss,
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-DUE PROCESS-RETROACTIVE APPLICATION OF STATUTE OF LIMITATION TO PREVIOUSLY BARRED CLAIM,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol44/iss6/12