Man entitled to benefits for injuries sustained on the job

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Finding that a construction supervisor’s receipt of unemployment benefits didn’t preclude him from eligibility for temporary total disability benefits, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a total award of more than $61,000 to the injured worker.

Christopher Collings was injured while at work for Platinum Construction Group when a wall fell on him during the framing of a house. He was initially given $3,180 in temporary total disability benefits. When he was released by his doctor to full duty, those benefits ended. But at that time, Platinum laid off its employees and closed its doors. Collings attempted to find work at other construction companies and tried to start his own company, but was unable to earn more than $1,200 due to pain from his injuries.

He filed for unemployment benefits and later sought a second opinion on his injuries, which led a doctor to rate his permanent partial impairment at 18 percent. That’s when Collings filed for an adjustment of claim with the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board. A hearing member awarded him $35,526 in additional TTD benefits, plus 26,210 in PPI benefits. The full board affirmed.

Platinum argued in Platinum Construction Group, LLC v. Christopher Collings, 93A02-1210-EX-882, that Collings couldn’t receive additional TTD benefits because he received unemployment benefits.

“Simply put, Collings was unable to perform work of the same kind and character due to the injuries that he suffered while working for Platinum. As a result, he met the statutory requirements to receive TTD benefits. After Dr. Yergler released him to full duty, he attempted to perform construction work but was unsuccessful. At the same time, he was willing, able, and available to work in a capacity that was less physically taxing, as required by the unemployment compensation statute,” Judge Terry Crone wrote. “Because the Board credited Platinum for the sums that Collings had received as unemployment benefits, Collings did not receive a windfall. Thus, his benefits cannot be characterized as duplicative. Under these facts, the Board did not err in concluding that Collings’s receipt of unemployment benefits did not preclude him from eligibility for TTD benefits.”

Platinum also challenged the sufficiency of the board’s findings support its order awarding Collings money for PPI, but it appeared that the company was challenging the relative credibility of the physicians who examined Collings. The Court of Appeals reminded Platinum that it may not reweigh evidence or judge witness credibility.



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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues