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Oklahoma Supreme Court strikes part of workers’ comp law

OKLAHOMA CITY –  A divided Oklahoma Supreme Court has overturned part of Oklahoma’s workers’ compensation law concerning how workers are compensated for their on-the-job injuries.

The court handed down the 5-3 decision with one recusal on Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by Hobby Lobby Stores employee Brandon Gibbon, who was injured in a fall at work in 2014.

The ruling says Hobby Lobby provided temporary total disability and medical benefits, but objected when Gibbon sought permanent partial disability, claiming the law’s forfeiture provision prohibited him further benefits because he had missed medical appointments without a valid excuse.

The court struck down that portion of the law, ruling it violates the adequate remedy provision of the Oklahoma Constitution.

Attorney General Mike Hunter’s office declined comment on the ruling.