Workers' Compensation

Oklahoma: Yet Another Provision of State’s Workers’ Compensation Law Held Unconstitutional

The forfeiture provision found in Okla. Stat. tit. 85A, § 57, part of the Oklahoma Administrative Workers’ Compensation Act (“the Act”), which bars an injured employee from further benefits (both medical care and indemnity) if the employee misses two or more scheduled medical appointments is unconstitutional, held the state’s Supreme Court, in a split decision. The majority held the provision was outside the original “Grand Bargain,” which established some measure of equilibrium between the injured employee’s need for prompt medical care and disability income and the employer’s desire not to be susceptible to unlimited tort liability for the damages sustained by the employee. The majority also indicated that § 57 introduced an impermissible level of fault to what was intended to be a no-fault system.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Gibby v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 2017 OK 78, 2017 Okla. LEXIS 80 (Oct. 3, 2017)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, §§ 1.03, 10.10, 94.02.

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

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see