Monday, January 02, 2006

Nice props Nebraska Supreme Court gives the Worker Compensation court for its efforts to work around an erroneous aspect of the Supreme Court decision Dawes v. Wittrock Sandblasting 266 Neb. 526, 667 N.W.2d 167 (Neb. 08/01/2003. Justice Gerrard says "My bad!" Kimminau v. Uribe Refuse Serv., 270 Neb. 682 December 2, 2005. No. S-05-012. In Kimminau the Supreme Court finds its ruling in Dawes v Wittrock Sandblasting a little unworkable to the extent the earlier opinion suggested that the worker compensation court could never order the comp carrier to reimburse a health insurer directly.
We take this opportunity to comment on the Workers' Compensation Court's response to the situation presented by this case. The single judge and majority of the review panel, while noting the provisions of § 48-120(8), nonetheless reasoned that Dawes was controlling. The dissenting member of the review panel, while respectfully acknowledging Dawes, concluded that § 48-120(8) governed the issue. The principled but candid decisions of the single judge and majority of the review panel, and the respectful disagreement of the review panel dissenter, are fine examples of the judicial system working at its best--with civility, collegiality, and professionalism.

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