Oklahoma legislator is awarded more than $51,000 in workers' comp case

An attorney for state Rep. Mike Christian reports getting a check for $51,300. Christian, R-Oklahoma City, was injured in a 2009 traffic accident.
by Nolan Clay Published: November 3, 2012
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State Rep. Mike Christian has been paid his workers' compensation benefits.

His attorney reported getting the $51,300 check in October after an insurance company decided not to appeal his case any further.

Christian, R-Oklahoma City, will get $41,040 of the award after his attorney's fee is deducted.

Christian's back and neck were injured when he struck a truck while driving in a personal car with his wife to the Capitol on the morning of Feb. 26, 2009.

At issue in the case was whether Christian should receive compensation for injuries suffered while commuting. Most employees can't unless their employers pay their travel expenses.

A trial judge in July ruled Christian was entitled to benefits because legislators can get reimbursement for one round trip per week to the Capitol.

The judge ruled in Christian's favor on the issue even though Christian had waived reimbursement for travel.

A panel of three judges in October upheld the ruling.

The insurance carrier for the state House of Representatives could have appealed the issue to the Oklahoma Supreme Court but didn't.

The trial judge awarded Christian $61,560.

The panel cut the award to $51,300.

by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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