workers' compensation

Court Ruling Could Change How Workers’ Comp Cases Are Heard

Jan 17, 2015
Oklahoma Workers Compensation Commission
Oklahoma Workers Compensation Commission

A district court ruling that could prove to significantly impact the way worker’s compensation cases are handled in Oklahoma may soon be heard by the state Supreme Court, according to officials at the Advisory Council on Workers’ Compensation.

A district judge ruled this month that Pottawatomie County man Darrell Duck’s injury while on the job at a Shawnee Hibdon Tire location was foreseeable, and therefore was not covered by the state’s workers’ compensation act, and concluded that Duck has a right to sue his employer for compensation.

Bob Burke, a workers’ comp lawyer and a former council member, said in a presentation to the council that Duck, who he is representing, was trying to loosen a bolt when he fell and was injured.

Burke said if Duck’s injury is not covered, then he is without remedy, which is in violation of a violation of the Constitution. “For every wrong, there’s a remedy,” Burke explained. “You’ve got to have some place to go to get a remedy.”

Oklahoma Supreme Court 2013

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has upheld a plan to convert the state workers' compensation insurance agency into a mutual company.

The state's highest court handed down a decision Tuesday that affirms legislation adopted last year to convert CompSource Oklahoma into the CompSource Mutual Insurance Co. The new company would be organized under state law, but independent of the state. The change goes into effect on Jan. 1.

a stack of dollar bills with a stethoscope and bottle of pills
James Martin / Flickr

Oklahoma workers who are injured on the job soon will have their legal claims handled through a new administrative system instead of the current court-based system.

The Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Commission will begin handling claims for any employee injured on the job after Friday. Workers with injury dates before Feb. 1 will be handled in the court system that is being renamed the Court of Existing Claims.

Ronny Richert / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has rejected a constitutional challenge to the state's new workers' compensation law.

The court handed down the ruling Monday, just one week after justices heard oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging the law.

House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) authored the measure that changes the state's workers' compensation system to an administrative one.

gavel lying on desk
steakpinball / Flickr Creative Commons

Opponents of Oklahoma's new workers' compensation law are asking the state Supreme Court to find it unconstitutional.

Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit that alleges the law violates the state Constitution and should be struck down.

Two state lawmakers and a firefighter's organization filed the lawsuit in September. The lawsuit says provisions of the new law would deny treatment and compensation to injured workers under certain circumstances.

Oklahoma Capitol Building
ana branca / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments in a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of Oklahoma's new workers' compensation law.

The high court on Monday scheduled arguments for 9 a.m. Dec. 10 in the lawsuit filed by state Sen. Harry Coates of Seminole, Rep. Emily Virgin of Norman and the Professional Firefighters of Oklahoma.

Legislation to overhaul the workers' compensation system was signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin in May. It was a top priority for Republicans who say the previous system was a detriment to business and industry.

Oklahoma Supreme Court 2013

An attorney for two state lawmakers and a firefighter's organization says Oklahoma's new workers' compensation law is unconstitutional and should be struck down.

Attorney John McMurry told a state Supreme Court referee Thursday that the law unconstitutionally delegates legislative powers and amounts to unconstitutional logrolling, or combining multiple subjects into one bill.

Oklahoma Solicitor General Patrick Wyrick and attorneys for business groups defended the law and say it should be given a chance to work.

Professional Fire Fighters of Oklahoma

Two Oklahoma lawmakers and a firefighters' organization are challenging the constitutionality of Oklahoma's new workers' compensation law.

The lawsuit was filed with the Oklahoma Supreme Court Tuesday by Sen. Harry Coates of Seminole, Rep. Emily Virgin of Norman and the Professional Firefighters of Oklahoma.

Fallin Signs Sweeping Workers' Compensation Bill

May 6, 2013
Back injuries are a common workers' compensation claim.
Darcie / Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Mary Fallin signed into law Monday a sweeping overhaul of the way Oklahoma treats workers hurt on the job. Senate Bill 1062 changes the state’s court-based workers’ compensation system to an administrative plan.

Supporters of the bill, including its authors, Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman and House Speaker T.W. Shannon, say it will reduce costs for businesses.

But detractors, including many Democrats, say the new law saves money at the expense of injured workers and does nothing to reduce medical costs associated with workers’ compensation claims.

Okla. GOP Leaders Agree on Tax Cuts for 2015

Apr 24, 2013
Gov. Mary Fallin, Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman (R-Sapulpa), and House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) announce their tax cut proposal in the Blue Room of the State Capitol - April 23, 2013.
Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

The Republican leaders at the State Capitol gathered in the Blue Room Tuesday to announce what they’re calling major agreements on several key proposals before lawmakers this session.

Gov. Mary Fallin, Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman (R-Sapulpa) and House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) each took turns describing the plan to cut state income taxes, change the workers’ compensation system and repair the State Capitol.

Pages