Appellate court reverses ALJ in unemployment claim

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana Court of Appeals held that a company was not obligated to continue employing a driver who lost consciousness behind the wheel, but because he holds no fault for that incident, he is eligible for unemployment benefits.

In Delbert Conklin v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Carter Express, Inc., No. 93A02-1109-EX-864, Delbert Conklin appealed a finding by an administrative law judge that he was ineligible for unemployment benefits. Conklin was a truck driver for Carter Express when on May 24, 2011, he blacked out while driving, veering off the road and damaging the truck and its contents. He awoke in time to avoid hitting trees by the side of the road, and no evidence was presented to explain why he lost consciousness. He has no prior record of a similar event and no evidence suggests he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Carter terminated Conklin, and initially, a claims deputy held Conklin was entitled to unemployment benefits. But Carter appealed, and an ALJ held that Conklin was an “imminent safety hazard” and therefore not entitled to unemployment benefits.  

The COA reversed that decision, holding that Carter was not obligated to continue Conklin’s employment, and the record contains no evidence that the blackout was his fault. Therefore, Conklin did not breach a duty to Carter in the statutory sense and is eligible for unemployment benefits.



Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Freedom From Religion Foundation: If you really want to be free from religion, don't go to the Christmas Play or the Christmas Pageant or the Christmas Parade. Anything with "Christ" or Saint...fill in the blank...would be off limits to you. Then leave the rest of us ALONE!

  2. So the prosecutor made an error and the defendants get a full remedy. Just one short paragraph to undo the harm of the erroneous prosecution. Wow. Just wow.

  3. Wake up!!!! Lawyers are useless!! it makes no difference in any way to speak about what is important!! Just dont tell your plans to the "SELFRIGHTEOUS ARROGANT JERKS!! WHO THINK THEY ARE BETTER THAN ANOTHER MAN/WOMAN!!!!!!

  4. Looks like you dont understand Democracy, Civilized Society does not cut a thiefs hands off, becouse now he cant steal or write or feed himself or learn !!! You deserve to be over punished, Many men are mistreated hurt in many ways before a breaking point happens! grow up !!!

  5. It was all that kept us from tyranny. So sad that so few among the elite cared enough to guard the sacred trust. Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law. Sophocles No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor. Theodore Roosevelt That was the ideal ... here is the Hoosier reality: The King can do no wrong. Legal maxim From the Latin 'Rex non potest peccare'. When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal. Richard Nixon