August 23, 2014

Supreme Court hears four cases of men injured on the job, denied Second Injury Fund benefits

The Supreme Court has heard four cases against the state’s Second Injury Fund after workers were denied because they had multiple minor injuries, not one big one.

Rochelle Reeves with the Attorney General’s Office says the four plaintiff’s appealing to the Supreme Court argue that their collective injuries make them eligible for Second Injury Fund benefits. Reeves argues that they do not, and that the law clearly defines that.

Attorneys for the plaintff’s argued that separate injuries can stem from one major injury, and that it’s not so easy to separate parts of the body and how they work together or independently.

In each case, the Industrial Relations Commission awarded the benefits, which the Attorney General’s Office says it did so erroneously. The fund ultimately denied the claims because it said pre-existing conditions did not qualify.

The Supreme Court will hand down an opinion on each of the cases later. 

The Second Injury Fund was started after World War Two to help injuried veterans gain employment. It was reformed 18 years ago to reflect modern-day needs for injured workers.

View the case summaries HERE.