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Workers' Compensation

United States: Oklahoma's Subrogation Statute is Constitutional

Construing Oklahoma law, a federal district court ruled that 85A Okla. Stat. § 43, the subrogation provision within Oklahoma’s workers’ compensation law, does not violate Article 23, Section 7 of the state’s Constitution. The federal court acknowledged that language within an earlier decision of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, Updike Advertising Sys. v. State Industrial Comm’n, 1955 OK 19, 282 P.2d 759, had cast some doubt on the subrogation rights enjoyed by an employer or carrier that had paid out workers’ compensation benefits, but stressed that such language was merely dicta. The court also stressed that 85A O.S. § 43(A) did not “limit” the amount recoverable in a wrongful death action; it merely served as an allocation measure—specifying how and to whom the settlement proceeds were to be distributed.

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

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Akins v. C&J Energy Servs.,2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132438 (W.D. Okla. Aug. 7, 2019)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 117.01.

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

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see