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August 2016 Archives

Recent Nebraska Supreme Court Decision Prohibits Defendant Counterclaims

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-177 provides that a cause of action filed with the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court may be dismissed without prejudice to a future action by the plaintiff (typically, the injured worker) at any time before the final submission of the case to the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court.  Last week, the Nebraska Supreme Court decided Wilmer Interiano-Lopez v. Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., which is a procedurally significant case in the Nebraska workers' compensation arena.  Prior to the ruling in this case, the law was unsettled regarding whether a workers' compensation defendant could file a counterclaim against an injured worker.  In some cases, workers' compensation defendants were filing counterclaims in an effort to preserve an ability to keep the injured workers' cause of action on file with the court and force the case to trial, even if the plaintiff wished to dismiss the workers' compensation claim without prejudice.  The Supreme Court in Wilmer Interiano-Lopez determined that counterclaims by defendants are not permissible because allowing such counter claims "would have the effect of nullifying a plaintiff's statutory right to dismiss the cause without prejudice under § 48-177."  

Selection of Travis Spier to the Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers Rising Stars List

Attorney Travis Spier was recently selected to the Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers Rising Stars List for his work in Workers' Compensation, Great Plains Region. No more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in the state of Nebraska are selected for this honor. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area. A description of the selection methodology can be found here. Super Lawyers' Rising Stars list recognizes the top up-and-coming attorneys in the state - those who are 40 years old or younger, or who have been practicing law for 10 years or less.

Calculating Your Average Weekly Wage After a Work Injury

When an employee suffers a work related injury and cannot immediately return to work because of serious injuries sustained, one of the first issues that requires attention is the calculation of the injured worker's average weekly wage so that the benefits that are due are calculated and paid properly. In Nebraska, average weekly wage for purposes of workers' compensation benefits is typically calculated by dividing the 26 weeks, or 6 months, of gross wages immediately preceding the accident by the number of weeks worked. The Nebraska workers' compensation wage statute, Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-126, states:

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