High court affirms suit dismissal

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SANDPOINT — The Idaho Supreme Court is affirming the dismissal of a civil suit a Bonner County man brought against the Idaho Department of Labor for unnecessary delays and other alleged improprieties in the processing of a claim for benefits.

Dale Johnson maintained rollercoasters at the Silverwood Theme Park and resigned in 2015 amid rising contentions and a dispute with the new director of construction and maintenance. He subsequently applied for unemployment benefits, but the claim was denied, prompting Johnson to appeal to the Idaho Industrial Commission.

While the appeal was pending, Johnson was advised that a recording of his hearing was lost. The claim was remanded back to the department of labor for another hearing. Following two additional hearings before the Appeals Bureau, Johnson lost his claim again and appealed a second time to the Idaho Industrial Commission, which reversed the department’s determination and rule Johnson was eligible for benefits because he had good cause to quit his job with the amusement park.

Johnson filed a notice of tort claim and later a civil complaint against the department of labor for negligence due to the unnecessary delay in receiving benefits. The department moved to dismiss the action on grounds that Johnson did not file the tort claim in a timely manner.

First District Judge Barbara Buchanan granted the motion to dismiss,

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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