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Press Release

Oklahoma Supreme Court Upholds Workers’ Compensation Reform Bill

December 17, 2013

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday upheld the state’s workers’ compensation reform legislation in the suit Coates et. al. v. Fallin et. al.  In 2013, the Oklahoma legislature passed a landmark piece of legislation, Senate Bill 1062, that offers employers a choice between a government-sponsored plan for providing workers compensation benefits or an employer-sponsored plan providing those same benefits. The suit, filed by Oklahoma Sen. Harry Coates, state Rep. Emily Virgin, and the Professional Fire Fighters of Oklahoma, challenged the legislation as unconstitutional on its face, arguing that the bill denies citizens’ rights to access the courts to receive speedy and certain relief and violates the “Single Subject Rule.”

The Oklahoma Supreme Court dismissed all plaintiffs’ challenges. Becky Robinson of the Oklahoma Injury Benefit Coalition called the ruling “a major victory for those who have advocated for a better system.” The law is expected to reduce workers’ compensation costs for employers, provide improved care for injured workers, and stimulate the state economy.

The Morgan Lewis team representing the Oklahoma Injury Benefit Coalition was led by Litigation partner Allyson Ho, who presented oral argument on behalf of the Coalition in the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

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