COMPTON, Chief Justice.
Paul Tipton appeals the superior court's affirmance of the decision of the Alaska Workers' Compensation Board (Board) dismissing his workers' compensation claim. The Board held that AS 23.30.110(c) barred Tipton's claim because he failed to request a hearing within two years after an earlier hearing had been cancelled. We reverse.
II. FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS
On April 23, 1984, Paul Tipton was severely injured while in the course of his employment with ARCO Alaska, Inc. As a result of his injury, Tipton received temporary total disability (TTD) benefits, temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits, and permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. In the spring of 1985, ARCO offered a number of employees incentives to resign. Tipton took advantage of this "special termination plan" and resigned, effective September 28, 1985.
On May 6, 1987, Tipton filed with the Board an Application for Adjustment of Claim, claiming entitlement to additional TTD and PPD benefits. Along with the application, Tipton filed a Statement of Readiness to Proceed (SRP) in which he requested a hearing on the matter. On July 16, ARCO filed a Notice of Controversion. The hearing, scheduled for October 1, 1987, was continued by stipulation of the parties.
On March 23, 1988, Tipton filed a second SRP. A hearing was scheduled for September
In November 1988, Tipton filed in superior court a wrongful discharge suit against ARCO, alleging ARCO terminated him because of his work-related injuries. In August 1989, the superior court stayed all proceedings pending final determination by the Board of Tipton's workers' compensation claim. In January 1991, Tipton moved to set aside the stay, arguing that ARCO had failed to pursue the matter before the Board. The court denied the motion.
In September 1991, ARCO filed a petition to dismiss Tipton's workers' compensation claim. The Board granted the petition, concluding that Tipton's claim was barred by AS 23.30.110(c), because he had not requested a hearing within two years after the cancellation of the September 1, 1988 hearing. On appeal to the superior court, see Alaska Appellate Rule 602, the court affirmed the Board's decision. Tipton appeals.
At issue is the interpretation
Section 110(c) requires an employee to request a hearing within two years after the employer controverts the employee's claim. ARCO controverted Tipton's claim on July 16, 1987. Tipton requested a hearing on March 23, 1988, within two years of the date of controversion. Tipton's hearing request was cancelled because the parties were close to settling; however, the proposed settlement was never ratified by Tipton, and therefore his claim and hearing request were still before the Board. In this situation, there is nothing explicit or implicit in the language of section 110(c) which would require Tipton to request another hearing to avoid dismissal.
ARCO argues that in order to avoid the time-bar of section 110(c), an employee must request a hearing every time a hearing is cancelled.
The language of section 110(c) is clear. This clarity places a "greater burden" on ARCO, "as the party seeking to dissuade us from giving the statute its apparent meaning, to demonstrate that the legislative history reveals some hidden ambiguity in the legislature's usage of terms, and resolves that ambiguity in that party's favor." State, Dep't of Nat. Resources v. City of Haines, 627 P.2d 1047, 1049 (Alaska 1981). ARCO advances certain policy arguments in support of its interpretation of section 110(c),
The Board's decision and the superior court's judgment are REVERSED. This case is REMANDED to the Board for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.