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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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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