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Kentucky: Injured Employee’s Settlement Does Not Bind Widow’s Subsequent Death Benefits Claim

March 27, 2015 (1 min read)







Where an employee sustained a serious work-related injury—a torn thoracic aorta—in February 2006, and died almost four years later, having signed a release as to all future claims against the employer for an agreed upon lump-sum payment, his widow was not precluded from seeking death benefits, held a Kentucky appellate court. The court observed that the injured employee’s spouse did not sign the settlement agreement and it did not include references to any future rights that she might have. Quoting Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 98.01, the court indicated that a dependent’s right to death benefits is an independent right derived from statute, not from the rights of the decedent. Accordingly, here the widow’s death benefits claim was not affected by compromises or releases executed by the decedent.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers’ compensation.

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to

See Baytos v. Family Dollar, 2015 Ky. App. LEXIS 37 (Mar. 20, 2015) [2015 Ky. App. LEXIS 37 (Mar. 20, 2015)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 98.01 [98.01]

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









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