Five Recent Cases You Should Know About (10/29/2010)

Five Recent Cases You Should Know About (10/29/2010)

Larson's Spotlight on Post-Termination Claim, Labor Market, Marijuana, Credibility, Death Benefits. Larson's surveys the latest case developments that you need to know about. Thomas A. Robinson, the staff writer for Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, has compiled the list below.

OK:  Supreme Court Strikes Down Six-Month Claim Filing Rule for Terminated Employees

Acknowledging that the legislative intent in requiring "post-termination" injury claims to be filed within six months of termination of employment [85 Okla. Stat. § 43] was to discourage retaliatory workers' compensation claims, but observing that the statute was not expressly targeted to employees who had been involuntarily terminated, but applied equally to employees who had voluntarily terminated their employment for good reasons, such as a new job or retirement, and who, therefore, would have had no reason or motive to file retaliatory claims, the Supreme Court of Oklahoma struck down the six-month requirement.

FREE VERSION: Access the case on lexisONE free case law. Click on tab for Free Case Law. Click on the radio button for Search by Citation. Enter this citation: 2010 Okla. LEXIS 78. Then click on the red button Search for Free. Note: If you haven't registered for free at lexisONE, you will be prompted to do so in order to access the free case law.

FULLY FEATURED VERSION: Lexis.com subscribers can read the fully featured case here. See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, § 126.13.

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NY: Benefits Terminated Where Injured Worker Withdraws From the Labor Market

A New York appellate court recently affirmed a finding of the state Workers' Compensation Board that an injured worker had voluntarily withdrawn from the labor market where there was evidence that she continued to suffer some ongoing physical difficulties, but where she admitted that since the date of her injury she had neither worked nor made any attempt to find work within her medical restrictions.

FREE VERSION: Access the case on lexisONE free case law. Click on tab for Free Case Law. Click on the radio button for Search by Citation. Enter this citation: 2010 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 7556. Then click on the red button Search for Free. Note: If you haven't registered for free at lexisONE, you will be prompted to do so in order to access the free case law.

FULLY FEATURED VERSION: Lexis.com subscribers can read the fully featured case here. See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, § 84.04.

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AR: Presence of Marijuana in Claimant's System Leads to Denial of Benefits

Affirming a decision of the state's Workers' Compensation Commission, an Arkansas appellate court recently held that where a claimant's own admission and a hair-follicle sample revealed the presence of marijuana in his system at the time of the alleged compensable event, there arose a rebuttable presumption under Ark. Code Ann.  11-9-102(4)(B)(iv) that his injury was "substantially occasioned" by the use of the illegal drug.  Observing further, that the Commission had found claimant's post-accident actions were "highly suspicious," the court found he had not rebutted the presumption and his claim for benefits was appropriately denied.

FREE VERSION: Access the case on lexisONE free case law. Click on tab for Free Case Law. Click on the radio button for Search by Citation. Enter this citation: 2010 Ark. App. LEXIS 728. Then click on the red button Search for Free. Note: If you haven't registered for free at lexisONE, you will be prompted to do so in order to access the free case law.

FULLY FEATURED VERSION: Lexis.com subscribers can read the fully featured case here. See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, § 36.03.

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GA: Claimant's Erratic Behavior While Testifying Nixes Her Claim for Permanent Benefits

Reiterating the long-standing rule that it is within the province of the state Board to determine the weight and credit to be given to the testimony of witnesses, and to resolve issues of fact arising from conflicts in the evidence, a Georgia appellate court has reversed a county superior court that took issue with an ALJ's findings, adopted by the State Board, that a claimant's testimony "seemed feigned, contrived and grossly exaggerated" and that she appeared "psychologically disturbed" based upon her demeanor and conduct at the hearing.  The ALJ found that claimant had not established her claim of permanent brain damage based upon the breathing of fumes associated with the installation of new wallpaper at the employer's premises.  The appellate court held that the trier of fact clearly is entitled to observe the demeanor and conduct of a witness while testifying and take these factors into account in assessing the credibility of the witness.

FREE VERSION: Access the case on lexisONE free case law. Click on tab for Free Case Law. Click on the radio button for Search by Citation. Enter this citation: 2010 Ga. App. LEXIS 980. Then click on the red button Search for Free. Note: If you haven't registered for free at lexisONE, you will be prompted to do so in order to access the free case law.

FULLY FEATURED VERSION: Lexis.com subscribers can read the fully featured case here. See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, § 130.05.

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KS: Claimant Fails to Establish Common-Law Marriage That Would Entitle "Widow" to Death Benefits

The Court of Appeals of Kansas agreed with the Division of Workers' Compensation that claimant had not established a common-law marriage to the deceased employee where evidence suggested the two had exchanged engagement rings, but never referred to them as "wedding rings," claimant generally introduced herself without reference to the deceased surname, her driver's license and tax returns indicated her own surname, not that of deceased, and where there was never any civil or religious ceremony signifying the marriage.  The court agreed that claimant and the deceased had a loving and stable relationship; that was insufficient under Kansas law, however.

FREE VERSION: Access the case on lexisONE free case law. Click on tab for Free Case Law. Click on the radio button for Search by Citation. Enter this citation: 2010 Kan. App. LEXIS 127. Then click on the red button Search for Free. Note: If you haven't registered for free at lexisONE, you will be prompted to do so in order to access the free case law.

FULLY FEATURED VERSION: Lexis.com subscribers can read the fully featured case here. See generally Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, § 96.02.

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Source: Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, the nation's leading authority on workers' compensation law

   Offer good through December 2010.