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Appeals court: Worker entitled to pursue compensation after settlement

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A worker injured in a traffic accident who received a settlement for a workers’ compensation claim in Wisconsin may proceed with a claim in Indiana, where the crash occurred, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

The appellate court reversed and remanded a ruling by the Worker’s Compensation Board of Indiana, which dismissed an application for adjustment of claim from Dale Brenon, a Wisconsin resident hired by Omega Insurance Services as an investigator.

After a 2003 crash in Lakeville, Ind., Omega through its insurers negotiated a $100,000 settlement with Brenon. Before the settlement was accepted, Brenon filed an application in Indiana seeking workers’ compensation benefit.   

“Contrary to the Board’s conclusion, the issue cannot be disposed of simply because Brenon’s receipt of worker’s compensation benefits was the result of negotiated settlement agreements rather than a unilateral, voluntary payment by Omega and Zenith Insurance Company/Zurich American Insurance Company,” Judge Ezra Freidlander wrote in a unanimous opinion.

“The statutes and judicial opinions of the state of the first award must be examined to determine if they expressly disallow a later award in a different state. Here, the parties have not provided us with any analysis of judicial opinions or statutes in Wisconsin regarding whether such preclude an additional award in another state. Our research has likewise revealed no judicial opinions or statutes in Wisconsin (or Indiana for that matter) that prohibit claims in multiple states,” Friedlander wrote.

The judges remanded the matter to the Worker’s Compensation Board, holding that the board’s dismissal was “not sustainable under the doctrine of collateral estoppel, Wisconsin laws or Supreme Court precedent, and that the Board’s decision gave no effect to the reservation of rights clauses contained in settlement agreements.”

 

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  1. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  2. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  3. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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