Jimmie C. Smith (“Smith”) appeals the dismissal of his Application for Adjustment of Claim with the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board (“Board”). The sole issue presented is whether Smith’s worker’s compensation application was properly dismissed pursuant to the subrogation portion of the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act (“the Act”), Indiana Code Section 22-3-2-13, after Smith settled his claim against a third-party tortfeasor.
Conclusion (slip op. at 6): We conclude that Smith should be allowed to proceed with his worker’s compensation claim that was pending at the time of the settlement. Reversed and remanded.
Key Analysis (slip op. at 5, 6): Smith correctly observes that there may be some potential, in furtherance of the humane purposes of the Act, for some supplemental payment from an employer after the injured employee has recovered from a third-party tortfeasor an amount less than the “apparent worker’s compensation benefits” before the worker’s compensation claim was resolved . . . Champion did not contest the adequacy of the settlement even though it was aware of the third-party claim, asserted its statutory lien and accepted payment from the settlement proceeds. Champion cannot now be heard to complain.