The Oklahoma Supreme Court has said in an unusual move that it will hear oral arguments in the Vasquez v. Dillard’s case challenging the state’s opt-out provision. The movement against opt-out is spearheaded by Bob Burke, an Oklahoma City-based attorney representing claimants. Burke and his client Jonnie Yvonne Vasquez (who suffered a spine injury while working for Dillard’s) have already won the first round – the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission found in February that opt-out violated principles of equal protection, as Vasquez’s treatment under the Dillard’s opt-out plan was not equivalent to an employee’s rights under the ordinary system. Burke told NPR that “only a few times a year does the court hear oral arguments on cases of great legal significance,” indicating that the system could be facing a major overhaul.
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