Paying for trumped-up workers' injuries

Published: March 29, 2013
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Oklahoma's workers' compensation system doesn't work. It hasn't worked for years. Oh, it works to pad the pockets of the attorneys who handle the cases brought before the courts. But what workers who are actually injured on the job don't know is that they'll get the same benefits with or without an attorney. The only difference is that they lose part of their settlement to an attorney in the way of fees.

Regarding “Award raises political questions” (News, March 17): The recent settlement awarded to the injured firefighter for digging holes in his yard at home and then claiming it was job-related is just one example of how the workers' compensation court system doesn't work. First you have to have someone like Jerry Clayton Carroll to come up with a trumped-up injury like he did, then add the spineless judges who sit on the compensation courts and — presto! — you have a settlement that should no more exist than Obamacare. These types of trumped-up injuries and awards get carried out every day. Another recent example was state Rep. Mike Christian who “received $61,560 after claiming — more than a year after the accident — that he had been hurt on the job while in a car accident during his commute.”

Workers who are truly injured on the job need to be taken care of. They need to be treated and returned to their job. It's time we take care of the problem and not continue to pay settlements on trumped-up cases.

David Goodpasture, Edmond


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