« Ind. Decisions - "Gun makers appeal Hoosier's ruling" | Main | Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 3 today (and 4 NFP) »

Monday, November 27, 2006

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit issues one Indiana decision today

In Schneider National Carriers v. Nat'l. Employee Care (SD Ind., Larry J. McKinney, Chief Judge), a 13-page opinion, Judge Stykes writes:

This case concerns the lien rights of a worker’s compensation carrier under Indiana law. An Indiana trucker was injured on the job in an accident with another trucker and received worker’s compensation benefits. He then sued the tortfeasor’s employer. The worker’s compensation carrier initially sought intervention but later withdrew the motion after receiving assurances that its lien or subrogation rights under Indiana law would be protected. The employee and the tortfeasor then entered into a settlement without notifying or obtaining the consent of the worker’s compensation carrier. This was a violation of IND. CODE § 22-3-2-13, which specifically requires the written consent of the worker’s compensation carrier in order for a settlement to be valid.

The settlement agreement provided that the tortfeasor’s employer would assume responsibility for negotiating with the worker’s compensation carrier over its lien rights and promised to defend and indemnify the injured trucker against any liability or judgment for the carrier’s lien. The present suit was filed when these negotiations failed. The district court ordered judgment in favor of the worker’s compensation carrier against the tortfeasor’s employer on the basis of IND. CODE § 22-3-2-13 and the language in the settlement agreement by which the tortfeasor’s employer assumed responsibility for any judgment regarding the carrier’s lien rights. We affirm.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 27, 2006 12:25 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions