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Holdsworth v. Greenwood Farmers Cooperative

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Date: 
Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bruce Holdsworth v. Greenwood Farmers Cooperative and Cooperative mutual Insurance Company, Inc. (Appellants)

 

Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court, Judge Tom Stine

 

Attorneys: Charles L. Kuper (Larson Kuper & Wenninghoff PC LLO) (Appellant) --- Rolf Edward Shasteen (Shasteen Miner Scholz & Morris PCLLO)

 

Civil: Penalty provisions of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-125; Release of Liability pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-139(3).

 

Proceedings below: The trial court found a reasonable controversy did not exist and ordered Appellants to pay a $10,000 penalty and $500 in attorney fees to Holdsworth as payment was made more than thirty days after entry of the Order of Dismissal with Prejudice. The trial court found that penalty provisions of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-125 applied to settlements reached pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-139(3) and the Order of Dismissal with Prejudice was a final order under the Act. Appellants filed a Petition to Bypass which was granted by the Nebraska supreme Court.

 

Issues: (1) The trial court erred as a matter of law and fact in awarding the plaintiff waiting time penalties and attorney's fees. (2) The trial court erred as a matter of law and fact in determining that it had jurisdiction to hear plaintiff’s Motion for Penalties because the filing of a Release of Liability with the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-139(3) (Reissue 2010) on January 11, 2012 acted as a waiver of all of the plaintiffs rights under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act, including the right to ask a judge of the compensation court to decide the parties' rights and obligations. (3) The trial court erred as a matter of law and fact in determining the penalty provisions of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-125 (Reissue 2010) apply to settlements made pursuant to a Release of Liability under § 48-139(3). (4) The trial court as a matter of law and fact in determining the Order of Dismissal with Prejudice entered on January 12, 2012 constituted a "final order" as contemplated by § 48-125. (5) The trial court erred as a matter of law and fact in determining a reasonable controversy did not exist based on an unanswered question of law.

This page was last modified on Friday, January 11, 2013