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Advisory 2000-07

Status of Downs Decision

On August 16, 2000, the 4 th Court of Appeals in San Antonio issued a revised decision in the case of Downs v. Continental Casualty Co., Cause No. 04-99-00111-CV. That decision held "a carrier waives its right to deny compensability if it fails to comply with section 409.021(a) of the Texas Labor Code by either agreeing to begin the payment of benefits or giving written notice of its refusal to pay within seven days after receiving written notice of an injury." The Commission understands that the decision has not become final as of this date and that further requests for review of that decision will be made by one or more of the parties to that case.

After consultation with the Office of the Attorney General and in light of §410.205(b) of the Texas Labor Code, the Commission understands that the August 16 th decision in the Downs case should not be considered as precedent at least until it becomes final upon completion of the judicial process. In addition, the related Commission's rules, such as those found at 28 TEX. ADMIN. CODE §§124.2, 124.3, and 132.17, remain in effect. Those rules may be found at the Commission's web site at

Signed this 28 th day of August, 2000

Leonard W. Riley, Executive Director

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