Aug 12, 2020
Episode 9: Murray, Kentucky workers’ compensation attorney Jeff Roberts discusses the multiple cases he currently has before the Kentucky Supreme Court. When Jeff says he’s willing to take a case all the way to the Supreme Court, he can demonstrate a track record of having done so many times on behalf of his clients.
The 2018 changes to Kentucky’s workers’ compensation law were significant. Not all of the changes were beneficial to workers. As a result, Jeff Roberts has several clients who were impacted by the changes. This has required him to take several cases to the highest court in Kentucky.
In fact, Jeff currently has 4 cases before the KY Supreme Court. Two of them are his appeals and 2 were appealed by the employer. Three of these cases involve a retroactivity of certain provisions of the 2018 statute. Normally, when a new statute is passed, it applies to current cases, not those that have been previously settled. The 2018 didn’t follow that concept.
At the same time, Jeff has also submitted an amicus brief on behalf AFL-CIO for another case before the Kentucky Supreme Court.
One of the cases involves the injured worker’s ability to reopen the case if the disability worsens over time. The previous law stated that the window to reopen must be within 4 years of any previous award or order. This could be done multiple times, if the situation warranted it. Under the 2018 law, there is only 1 opportunity to reopen the case. This also retroactively applies to cases settled prior to the passing of the 2018 statute. As a result, Jeff’s client’s employer is trying to nullify the award based on the 4-year limit under the 2018 statute. Jeff is arguing that the retroactivity shouldn’t be allowed.
Another issue workers need to understand is that while Kentucky offers lifetime benefits for some situations, under the 2018 statute, workers may be required to reapply after 15 years. Note, this is not for cases resolved prior to 2018. The challenge for many will be that people often move to new addresses. The Department of Workers’ Claims is only going to send 1 letter to the injured person. If it is sent to a former address, he/she may not receive it in time, or at all. This may cause the person to be unable to reapply for benefits. As simple change of address at the local post office will not work.
Over the years, Jeff Roberts has had over 20 cases in front of the Kentucky Supreme Court. He currently has 4 active cases there, which is the most he’s had at any one time. It’s never easy, but over time, the process has become more familiar to him. Not every attorney gets the opportunity to argue in front of the KY Supreme Court. While most of the cases are based on the written documentation, oral arguments before the justices can be extremely challenging.
The Roberts Law Office handles workers’ compensation claims on a contingency-fee basis. There’s no money paid up front to hire Jeff Roberts. His fee, along with court costs and case expenses are paid out at the end of the case.
For more information, visit www.JeffRobertsLaw.com. This podcast is meant to provide information and is not legal advice. Jeff’s principal office is located at 509 Main Street, Murray, Kentucky. Co-host Jim Ray is a non-attorney spokesperson. This is an advertisement.