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Oklahoma: Multiple Injury Trust Fund Liable for Combined Injuries to Different Body Parts

September 29, 2017 (1 min read)

In a deeply divided decision, the Supreme Court of Oklahoma held that a workers’ compensation claimant, who sustained an injury to his left shoulder in 2013, was a “physically impaired person,” as defined in Okla. Stat. tit. 85A, § 402(A), in spite of the fact that none of his prior adjudicated disabilities had involved his left shoulder. Accordingly, since the Workers’ Compensation Court of Existing Claims had determined that he was permanently totally disabled as a result of combining the previously adjudicated disability with the disability from his last injury, the entry of an award against the state’s Multiple Injury Trust Fund by the Court of Existing Claims was proper. Many Oklahoma legal experts—including the Court of Civil Appeals and three justices on the Supreme Court—interpreted a 2011 amendment to § 402(A)(4) so as to prohibit the combining of disabilities unless the previous disability was in the same body part as involved in the latest injury.

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 Multiple Injury Trust Fund v. Mackey, 2017 OK 75, 2017 Okla. LEXIS 78 (Sept. 26, 2017)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 91.02." target="_blank">91.02.

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