Sunday, April 06, 2008

Nebraska Supreme Court agrees that the Worker Compensation Court may grant default judgments under § 48-162.03(1) but the party moving for a default judgment must give the defaulted party notice of the motion under Worker Compensation Court rule 3. Cruz-Morales v. Swift Beef Co., S-07-812, 275 Neb. 407 The plaintiff sued the Defendant Swift Beef for a work injury and Swift received proper service of process. Swift failed to answer and the plaintiff moved for a default judgment but sent the notice to the wrong address for the Defendant's third party administrator. "we (under 48-162.03) conclude that the Workers’ Compensation Court has statutory authority to enter default judgments, however the Plaintiff needed to send proper notice to the defendant. Worker Compensation Court rule 3 which requires notice of the motion is not more restrictive than Supreme Court pleading rule 5 which does not require notice of a default judgment in general civil actions, see Phillips v. Monroe Auto Equip. Co., 251 Neb. 585, 558 N.W.2d 799 (1997) {worker compensation court rules may not be more restrictive than civil court rules as to admitting evidence}.

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