In national news:

Yesterday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court declared the state’s opt-out program unconstitutional, stating that the system creates a “special law” which deprives injured workers of their rights. The 52 page decision was long-awaited, as the state is the first outside of Texas to attempt to implement opt-out. Proponents of the law argue that allowing employers to write their own workers’ compensation coverage plans eliminates unnecessary costs while providing faster and superior care to workers. Opponents believe that the lack of oversight is a minefield of potential retaliation, inadequate benefits, and cost-shifting to taxpayer funded programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Property Casualty Insurers Association of America applauded the result, as did the American Insurance Association. This case (Vasquez v. Dillard’s) and several others challenging opt-out are spearheaded by Bob Burke, an Oklahoma City-based attorney.

Read further coverage via WorkersCompensation.com here. Download the decision in full: Oklahoma Supreme Court_Vasquez v Dillards 9.13.16

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