Appeal from Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board.
Leave to appeal applied for.
Allen, P. J., and Bronson and R. M. Maher, JJ.
1. Workmen's Compensation -- Statute of Limitations -- Tolling of Statute -- Failure to Notify of Injury -- Statutes.
The tolling of the statute of limitations so that the claim of an injured employee will not be barred is the only sanction against an employer for failure to notify the workmen's compensation department of the injury (MCLA 412.15; MSA 17.165, now, as amended, MCLA 418.381, ; MSA 17.237[381(1), (2)]).
2. Workmen's Compensation -- Date of Claim -- Two-Year Limitation -- Statutes.
Statutory language limiting the payment of workmen's compensation to a period of two years prior to the date on which an injured employee files an application with the workmen's compensation department is clear and unambiguous, and an employer is not precluded from asserting the two-year limitation where a claim is filed more than two years after the date of injury (MCLA 412.15; MSA 17.165, now, as amended, MCLA 418.381, ; MSA 17.237[381(1), (2)]).
3. Statutes -- Interpretation of Statutes.
The rule that the Court of Appeals will choose a constitutional reading of a statute over an unconstitutional one applies only where the statutory language is ambiguous.
4. Workmen's Compensation -- Statutes -- Reduction of Benefits -- Equal Protection.
A statutory provision in effect from 1965 to 1968 which reduced workmen's compensation benefits after the age of 65 to workers injured before reaching that age but which did not reduce benefits to persons injured at age 65 or above lacks a rational basis for such a classification and is therefore violative of equal protection; the statute cannot be used to reduce the benefits being paid to a worker who was injured during that time period (MCLA 412.9; MSA 17.159, now, as amended, MCLA 418.357; MSA 17.237).
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bronson
Claim by Theodore A. Brown against Saginaw Metal Casting Plants, Chevrolet Motor Division, General Motors Corporation for workmen's compensation. Benefits allowed. Plaintiff challenged a limitation on retroactive benefits and a reduction of current benefits, both of which were upheld by the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board. Plaintiff appeals by leave granted.
Plaintiff, Theodore A. Brown, appeals on leave granted from a decision of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board. He specifically challenges the imposition of two statutory limitations on the amount of compensation awarded to him: (1) limiting plaintiff to retroactive benefits dating only two years back from the date plaintiff filed his claim, pursuant to MCLA 412.15; MSA 17.165; *fn1 ...