How Much Time to Does a State Have to Implement a State Supreme Court Decision
My question involves workers compensation law for the state of: Washington State.
On Aug 12, 2010 injured workers in the State of Washington, won What has been called the "Tobin Decision" in the Supreme Court of the State of Washington. This decision requires the state to not use a injured workers Third Party "Pain and Suffering" settlement in the states calculations for benefit recovery. As of today, the state L & I Third Party division has not even acknowledged in writing that they lost. On the phone they say "this is a complicated issue" and they acknowledge the loss of the case. My question is: How long can the state still withhold monies owed to injured workers in light of the Supreme Courts decision against the state, and for the workers?
The State had decided in 2005 that any "pain and Suffering" settlement the injured worker received should be used to off set the cost of medical and maintenance being paid by the state to the worker and medical care givers. The Court decided for the workers in it's decision stating that since the State does not pay "pain and Suffering" settlements to injured workers, it cannot claim those same settlements from workers. You cannot "recover" something that you never paid out in the first place, and by law cannot pay out, is what the Court said.
The state has been withholding several hundred different workers compensation paychecks while this decision has made it's way thru the courts. The state lost at the Superior, Appeals, and Supreme Court levels and the State did not ask for a reconsideration of the Supreme Court decision (it was 7-2 anyway), and since this is a state issue, it does not go on to the Federal Courts. So if someone could answer the question in the first paragraph, I would appreciate it. Thank You.
I am not an attorney, I'm just the next worst thing.