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Judge will rule in Oklahoma legislator's workers' comp case

State Rep. Mike Christian claims he already was on the job when he had an accident driving to the Oklahoma state Capitol.
by Nolan Clay Published: July 18, 2012

He said he waived reimbursement to save taxpayers about $500 a year.

An attorney hired by the state's insurance provider, CompSource Oklahoma, suggested he actually waived reimbursement because he did not want to violate constitutional regulations on public travel since he often carpooled with his wife.

“That's not true,” he told the attorney, Kristi Bynum Russell. “I thought it was the proper thing to do, the American thing to do.”

Christian, a former Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper, was awarded $9,942 in workers' compensation in 1998 for a permanent partial back injury, court records show.

Christian was hurt on April 2, 1996, when his patrol car was struck from behind during a traffic stop in Tulsa, records show.

In 2001, Christian was awarded $15,000 in workers' compensation for permanent disabilities from a 1999 turnpike accident and from a 2000 arrest of a suspect, records show.

Christian did not file a workers' comp claim over the 2009 traffic accident for more than a year. He also had told a doctor in the weeks after the accident that his symptoms from the collision had completely resolved themselves, according to the doctor's records.

Christian, though, testified problems with his neck from the 2009 accident have become so severe he can no longer mow his lawn and he has difficulty driving.

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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