Opinion:Burson v. City of Tulsa, 2021 OK CIV APP 8
Subject matter:Workers’ Compensation
Date Decided:8/14/2020
Trial Court:Workers’ Compensation Commission
Route to this Court:ALJ at the Commission; Appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Commission; Assigned to Court of Civil Appeals Division I
Facts:Tulsa police officer had on-the-job injury to his knee; under 11 O.S. § 50-116.1, City was required to pay the officer his full wages during his temporary disability; the officer then sought permanent disability workers’ compensation benefits; under 85A O.S. § 89, the permanent disability award had to be reduced by the amount of the full wages paid during the temporary disability period over the temporary total disability limit. 
Standard of Review:Issue of statutory construction, which is an issue of law reviewed de novo. 
Analysis:COCA relied on Oklahoma Supreme Court’s recent decision in Braitsch v. City of Tulsa, 2018 OK 100, which was nearly identical facts except that the employee’s collective bargaining agreement (as opposed to a statute) was the mechanism that required City to pay full wages during temporary disability; COCA concluded that 11 O.S. § 50-116.1 and 85A O.S. § 89 were not incompatible; Court noted in a footnote that after the decision in Braitsch the Legislature changed the statute in Title 85A to exempt collective bargaining agreements from repayment in § 89, but COCA found the amendment did not apply in this case because law in effect at time of injury is law that must be applied in workers’ compensation cases.. 
Vote:Buettner, J. (author), Bell, P.J., Goree, J. concur.  
Other: Petition for Certiorari denied 5-3; Mandate issued 3/31/2021