In neighboring news:

The Oklahoma Supreme Court released a decision in Damien Smith v. Baze Corp. and three other similar cases. According to a Facebook post from Oklahoma City-based attorney Jacque Dean, in a 7-2, 38-page opinion written by Justice Noma Gurich, the Court held: (1) Scheduled members, arms, hands, feet, legs, eyes, and ears, are exempt for evaluation for permanent partial disability using the AMA Guides. (2) The deferral of PPD if an injured worker returns to work is unconstitutional as a violation of due process of law and because it is a special law, treating members of the same class of workers differently. Justice Gurich wrote, “The deferral provision…reinstates the concept of fault into a no-fault system and results in a forfeiture of benefits by the injured employee.” (3) The calculation of PPD to a scheduled member shall be tied to the amount in the schedule. All orders were remanded to the Workers’ Compensation Commission to “take all action necessary to implement today’s pronouncement.” Because the cases only involved scheduled members, the Supreme Court saved for another day a decision on the constitutionality of using the AMA Sixth Edition to rate PPD to injuries other than scheduled members.

Read further coverage from WorkCompCentral (subscription required) here. Read the decision here.

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