Worker Loses Bid for Attorney’s Fees
A workers' compensation claimant obtained an award for a period in which he also received unemployment benefits. After the Employment Security Department declined to waive reimbursement of his unemployment benefits to account for the attorney’s fees claimant incurred in litigating his workers' compensation claim he sought judicial review. The Supreme Court of Washington determined as a matter of first impression the common fund doctrine did not apply to the worker’s case. It was proper for the Department to decline to waive reimbursement to account for the claimant's attorney’s fees. Notwithstanding this, the court admonished the Department was required to consider, when argued by a claimant, whether equity and good conscience required fee sharing.