Insurance News

Rousmaniere: Unconstitutional in Alabama


By Peter Rousmaniere

Courts in three states have struck down at least certain parts of their workers’ compensation laws as unconstitutional. These decisions favored injured workers. A ruling by an Alabama court last week may be the most important of the three, because it most directly goes to the heart of the problem, which is adequacy of benefits. Judge Pat Ballard in his opinion pointed to, as legal scholar Michael Duff noted to me, “the elephant in the room.” 

And it is not just that benefits might not be adequate in many instances. There is no consensus, or even sustained discussion about, how to define adequacy.  

The public wants to know only one thing about workers’ comp: Are benefits adequate?  

Let’s suppose...

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