The First Circuit Court of Appeal issued a decision yesterday in the Barber v. Louisiana Workforce Commission constitutionality case, in favor of the LWC. Back in October 2015, the Supreme Court refused to review the case, stating in part that: “We find the constitutional issue was not properly raised in district court. The district court considered plaintiffs’ allegations of unconstitutionality in the context of a hearing on plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction.” Thus, the case was remanded to the First Circuit.
The First Circuit reversed the original order granting the preliminary injunction in favor of the plaintiffs, which would have stopped the 1009/Medical Treatment Guidelines (MTGs) process in its tracks. The Court explains in yesterday’s ruling: “though styled as a preliminary injunction, what the plaintiffs really seek is not to maintain the status quo but a change in the workers’ compensation system. As such, a preliminary injunction is not appropriate, and the trial court abused its discretion in so ordering.” The First Circuit also affirmed the trial court’s finding that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring a suit questioning the constitutionality of the MTGs, because of their status as attorneys and doctors who are auxiliary to injured workers. The Court explains: “to have standing, a party must complain of a constitutional defect in the application of the statute to him or herself: not of a defect in its application to third parties in hypothetical situations.”
Read the full decision here: Barber v. LWC_First Circuit 6.2.16