Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-177 provides that a cause of action filed with the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court may be dismissed without prejudice to a future action by the plaintiff (typically, the injured worker) at any time before the final submission of the case to the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court. Last week, the Nebraska Supreme Court decided Wilmer Interiano-Lopez v. Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., which is a procedurally significant case in the Nebraska workers’ compensation arena. Prior to the ruling in this case, the law was unsettled regarding whether a workers’ compensation defendant could file a counterclaim against an injured worker. In some cases, workers’ compensation defendants were filing counterclaims in an effort to preserve an ability to keep the injured workers’ cause of action on file with the court and force the case to trial, even if the plaintiff wished to dismiss the workers’ compensation claim without prejudice. The Supreme Court in Wilmer Interiano-Lopez determined that counterclaims by defendants are not permissible because allowing such counter claims “would have the effect of nullifying a plaintiff’s statutory right to dismiss the cause without prejudice under § 48-177.”
Recent Nebraska Supreme Court Decision Prohibits Defendant Counterclaims
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The lawyers and support staff at Atwood Law Firm showed me sincere interest and caring on a very personal level, and I knew at all times my interests were front and center in all aspects of my workers' compensation case. This office is staffed by a great group of people. You can relax and be assured that your welfare comes first and foremost in their decisions and actions with respect to your legal case. You are kept aware of the process and progress in your case at all times, and your input is welcomed. I highly recommend the Atwood Law Firm to anyone needing legal assistance.
I cannot thank you enough for the peace of mind you have brought to my family! Both of my parents are extremely grateful for your work. I knew we were in good hands from the first meeting and you have exceeded all my expectations! It may feel straightforward to you, but to us, you have moved mountains. This settlement will allow my parents, particularly my Dad, to enjoy the rest of their lives to the fullest of their abilities. We all agree that we would give every cent back and more for my Dad to walk again, but that is not going to happen...
"...He didn't treat me like I was one of 100 clients. He treated me like I was his only client. He acted professionally but with empathy, dignity and friendliness. It didn't matter if it was something small or large, he was always there for me, be it by phone, fax, email, cellphone or meeting me personally at his office or elsewhere. He never rushed me when I didn't understand something, he'd take as much time as needed to explain things to me, especially when it came time for my deposition and in preparation for trial. He was there for me when I truly needed his help..."
"...My husband and I felt his kindness immediately and were both very impressed with his knowledge of what to expect in a wrongful death case. He pursued our claim in an aggressive manner while at the same time being very protective of our rights and privacy and sheltered us from any unnecessary contact with insurance agents, or any other adverse parties. My husband and I cannot say enough about the kindness, professionalism and legal ability demonstrated by Atwood Law"
"...If it were not for this law firm all I would have received from this injury would have been a loss of income check and a pat on the back, goodbye. Which only would have been a fraction of what I actually received. He was always professional but more importantly he cared about me and my family as people not just a client. He went beyond his role as my lawyer. He even spoke with my bank and explained why I was behind on my car payment. And this saved me getting my car repossessed..."
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