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Oklahoma Supreme Court agrees to decide constitutionality of new workers' compensation law

Attorneys will be given the opportunity to argue their positions before the full Oklahoma Supreme Court starting at 9 a.m. Dec. 10.
by Randy Ellis Published: November 25, 2013

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide the constitutionality of a new state law creating an administrative workers' compensation system.

Attorneys will be given the opportunity to argue their positions before the full court starting at 9 a.m. Dec. 10.

They were told to be prepared to answer questions from the justices.

Two state lawmakers and the Professional Fire Fighters of Oklahoma are challenging the law, which would convert Oklahoma from a judicial workers' compensation system to an administrative one.

The new law would allow employers to opt out of the system as long as they provide equivalent benefits to injured workers.

Case jurisdiction

If the Supreme Court had refused to assume jurisdiction over the case, attorneys would have needed to first file it in district court. A district court decision later could have been appealed to the Supreme Court.

Attorneys for both sides have been pushing for the state Supreme Court to assume immediate jurisdiction and decide the case because of the tremendous disruption and costs that would occur if the state were to convert to a new system and then be ordered to revert to the old one.

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by Randy Ellis
Investigative Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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