News & Resources

Monthly Archives: April 2017

Public Policy Exception to At-Will Employment Standard Expanded

Apr 26, 2017 - News by

In the recent case of Moore v. Warr Acres Nursing Center, 2016 OK 28, 376 P.3d 894, the Oklahoma Court held that a public policy exception to at-will employment existed to protect an employee from being fired from a nursing home solely for not working while infected with the influenza virus, and that fact questions remained as to the true reasons for the employee’s termination, which precluded summary judgment.  Moore was the first case to rely on federal and state agency regulations to support the “public policy”  issue.

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Oklahoma Supreme Court Upholds Constitutionality of 12 Okla. Stat. §3009.1 Regarding Admissibility of Medical Expenses

Apr 26, 2017 - News by

In November of 2011, a new statute became effective in Oklahoma which limited the admissibility of evidence in personal injury cases regarding a plaintiff’s economic damages.  Prior to the statute, there was some confusion on the amount that a plaintiff could recover in a personal injury lawsuit for medical bills – i.e., the amounts “billed” by health care providers, or the amounts “actually paid.”  For a variety of reasons, the amounts “billed” are often far in excess of the amounts “actually paid” for medical services. The new statute has the purpose of limiting the admissibility of such evidence to the amount “paid” for such services.  In Lee v. Bueno, 2016 OK 97, 381 P.3d 736, the plaintiff argued that the statute was unconstitutional for a variety of reasons.  However, the Court rejected all such arguments.  The Court held that, in enacting the statute, the “Legislature has exercised its policymaking role and determined that injured parties in a personal injury action will not be able to admit evidence of, and therefore recover damages for, amounts they or their insurer were billed for treatment but were not required to pay” and that the statute “abrogates the collateral source rule to the extent it would otherwise conflict with the statute.”  A concurring opinion note that the new statute was a “reaction to the way that medical services are priced.  It ensures that a plaintiff does not receive a windfall, but also ensures that the measure of damages ‘is the amount which will compensate […]

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Best & Sharp Contributes to DRI Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Compendium

Apr 26, 2017 - News by

DRI’s Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage Compendium has recently been published.  The Compendium addresses the latest developments on topics relevant to UM/UIM coverage.  Topics include whether UM/UIM coverage is mandatory, whether stacking is allowed or required and which if any offsets against coverage are allowed.  The Compendium addresses these questions in each of the fifty states, as well as the District of Columbia.  Compendium authors were selected based upon their breadth and depth of experience and knowledge in defending against related contract and bad faith actions.  Attorney Matthew B Free, with Best & Sharp, was honored to write the Compendium’s Oklahoma chapter.

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