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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court decides one today

In Kohlmeyer v. Second Injury Fund, a 7-page, 5-0 decision, Justice Dickson writes:

Indiana's statutory worker's compensation scheme enables certain totally disabled work-ers who have exhausted the maximum benefits from their employers to seek additional compen-sation from the Second Injury Fund. The principal disputes in this case are (1) whether a work-er's Social Security Act disability benefits are includable in calculating whether the worker quali-fies to access the Second Injury Fund, and (2) whether the language in the award stipulation of the worker and his employer, which was approved by the Worker's Compensation Board, is binding upon the Board as to the worker's right to access benefits from the Second Injury Fund. * * *

Although the Indiana Worker's Compensation Act does not direct that a worker's receipt of Social Security Act benefits be included in determining his eligibility for Second Injury Fund compensation, the Worker's Compensation Board's express approval of the parties' stipulation in this case operates to establish that the worker, James Kohlmeyer, was permanently and totally disabled from work related injuries and that he met the maximum benefits prerequisite for Second Injury Fund eligibility. The Order of the Full Worker's Compensation Board, affirming the Single Hearing Member's decision, is hereby reversed.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 3, 2009 01:33 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions