Thursday, May 28, 2009
The Nelson case allowing a second lump sum
Decided today by the Colorado Court of Appeals is the Nelson case. This is a case where the claimant was permanently and totally disabled. The law allows a claimant to obtain a lump sum. She did in the amount of $26292.00 which was the amount allowed to be lump summed back when the claimant was originally injured. Since that time the statute was changed to allow for up to $60000.00. So later the claimant sought the $60000 less the $26292 she had already received. She lost on this with the reasoning being she was bound by the law in effect when she was injured. The Court however let the claimant obtain more by deciding the lump sum law was procedural. As such it was not impermissively retroactive or trying to wrongly impose a new law on an old case. The decision makes sense. There was no change in the fact that a permanently and totally disabled person was entitled to lump sum or obtain an advance of the biweekly benefits. It just allowed the claimant to obtain a bigger advance. This is simply a math matter that does not really give a claimant more then he or she is due but just allows for a bigger advance of future money that is owing.