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Court upholds finding woman isn't totally disabled

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Because a woman failed to seek appellate review of the decision by the Worker’s Compensation Board of Indiana that she was not permanently and totally disabled, she waived any claim of error related to that decision, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.

In Janet Stewart v. Richmond Community Schools, No. 93A02-1108-EX-793, Janet Stewart, a former gym teacher, appealed the final judgment by the board that found she was not permanently and totally disabled, as a single hearing member had determined.

Stewart broke her leg while helping a student during a gymnastic maneuver. She received workers’ compensation benefits for the surgery and treatment. A year later, she fell and broke her right hip at home. She claimed the fall was caused by continuing problems with her right leg. She did not return to work.

The single hearing member determined the hip injury was related to the broken leg injury and that she was totally and permanently disabled. The board affirmed that the hip injury was a compensable claim, but reversed regarding total disability and remanded for calculation of her permanent partial impairment. Neither party appealed the board’s decision.

On remand, she argued she was permanently and totally disabled; the member concluded Stewart sustained a 39 percent permanent partial impairment. The full board affirmed this decision.

The COA determined that the full board’s original decision finding Stewart wasn’t permanently and totally disabled was a final award subject to appellate review. Since she didn’t seek appellate review then, she waived any claim of error. The judges cited Cox v. Worker’s Comp. Bd., 675 N.E.2d 1053 (Ind. 1996), in support of their decision.

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  2. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  3. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  4. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  5. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

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