Coming back around to the constitutionality of aspects of the various state workers’ comp laws, an article by David De Paolo last week, suggested that rather than corporate America dismantling workers’ comp, it is the courts who are actually doing so.
David says that state supreme courts will be the ones doing the dismantling this year, piece by piece.
A week and a half ago, I wrote that the Oklahoma WC statute relating to the permanent partial disability deferral provisions of the state’s workers compensation statutes of 2013, was struck down in a 7-2 decision.
This decision was first reported in The Oklahoman.
And David also reported in the same article, that the 1st District Court of Appeals in Florida said that the state’s statutory limits on the payment of attorneys for injured workers was unconstitutional.
So while ProPublica and others rightly or wrongly accuse corporate America, the Koch Brothers, ALEC, ARAWC, the Illuminati, Martians, and anyone else we left out, it is the men and women who wear black robes who are striking down the workers’ comp laws in their states.
Is this a coincidence? Is this a vast conspiracy of right-wing jurists and those who put them on the bench? That is hard to say because we don’t know these people at all, who appointed them, and what their individual political motives are.
But if these decisions are any indication, the courts are ruling more in favor of injured workers, than their employers.
If you read De Paolo’s article and the cases linked to them, as well as the OK case, you will see that the courts are generally siding with workers.
What does this mean?
Well, it is too early to tell, but if these trends continue this year, 2016 may be the year the injured worker gets a little break. But we still have laws, regs, and rules in place that are holding back workers from getting the best health care available, at lower cost, no matter where that happens to be, even if it is not within the borders of their state or the country.
And that is something courts in the future will have to decide.