Self-insured employer not “other person” for purposes of Workers Compensation Act

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Emma Smith appeals the trial court’s grant of a motion to dismiss and a motion for summary judgment filed by Gary Public Transportation Corporation (“GPTC”). We affirm in part and reverse in part. Smith raises several issues. However, we address one dispostive issue, which we restate as whether the trial court properly granted GPTC’s motion to dismiss because it lacked subject matter jurisdiction.

Conclusion (slip op. at 6-7):  GPTC is not an “other person” pursuant to Indiana Code Section 22-3-2-13. Therefore, the trial court properly granted GPTC’s motion to dismiss based on the lack of subject matter jurisdiction. However, because the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction it could not address the merits of the case and grant GPTC’s motion for summary judgment. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

Key Analysis (slip op. at 5):  We conclude that a self-insured employer is not an “other person” for purposes of Indiana Code Section 22-3-2-13 . . . Requiring GPTC to pay twice—once as an employer and once as an insurer—does not advance the policy of Indiana. Further, if we were to allow Smith to recover underinsured motorist payments directly from GPTC, GPTC would be entitled to a lien on those proceeds so as to prevent a double recovery for Smith, who has already received worker’s compensation benefits.

About Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
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