Worker seeks reversal of workers' comp decision

Kelly Holleran May 11, 2010, 4:23pm

A man claims an appeals panel wrongly decided against him after he filed for workers' compensation benefits for an on-the-job injury.

Webster Perkins filed a lawsuit April 27 in Jefferson County District Court against Dallas National Insurance Co. and B&E Resources.

Perkins claims he worked for Professional Business Solutions, B&E Resources and Breckenridge Enterprises on July 24, 2008, when he sustained work-related injuries.

After the incident, Perkins filed a claim with the Texas Workers' Compensation Commission, but the Texas Department of Insurance-Workers' Compensation Division filed an appeal, according to the complaint.

On March 26, the Appeals Panel of the Workers' Compensation Commission of Texas rendered its final decision, but Perkins didn't agree with it, so he filed a complaint.

In its decision, the appeals panel found a workers' compensation insurance policy covered all PBS Employees assigned to work at B&E Resources. Perkins belonged to such a group, the appeals panel found.

Dallas National Insurance should have provided workers' compensation insurance coverage to Perkins and all other similar employees, the panel found.

The appeals panel also decided Perkins could not be considered an employee of Breckenridge Enterprises at the time of the accident. Breckenridge employees did not receive insurance coverage from Dallas National Insurance.

"Plaintiff would show this Court that the determination of the Hearing Officer and Appeals Panel is in error and is not supported by the evidence and that the Hearing Officer and Appeals Panel lacked jurisdiction to adjudicate the dispute in question," Perkins' suit states.

In the alternative, Perkins asks that if the court finds that B&E Resources is entitled to the protection of exclusive remedies, the company wrongly terminated him in retaliation for his filing of a workers' compensation complaint.

In his complaint, Perkins seeks a judgment setting aside the final decision of the Appeals Panel, a judgment that the defendants are liable to him for violations of the Texas Labor Code and other relief to which he may be entitled.

John Werner of Reaud, Morgan and Quinn in Beaumont will be representing him.

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: A186-727.

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