Summaries of 10th Circuit, state and local opinions filed
Oklahoma Supreme Court
For the week ending July 8, 1997
Sonny L. Harmon v. Turenia G. Harmon, No. 84,832.
Husband who was incarcerated during divorce proceedings and for
whom no arrangements were provided for his appearance was denied
constitutional and statutory right to be heard. Though lower court's
granting of divorce upheld, case remanded to resolve child
rights and other issues.
Employers Mutual Casualty Company v. James Mosby, Dennis Childers
and Country Mutual Insurance Co., d/b/a Country Companies Insurance
Group, No. 85,967.
Claims for subrogation by an uninsured motorist carrier are
governed by statute of limitations for underlying cause of action. A
subrogee does not obtain a longer limitations period based merely on
the fact that it did not gain subrogation rights at the same time
that its insured's claim accrued. A subrogee steps into the shoes of
the plaintiff subject to all legal and equitable defenses that
tortfeasor may have against plaintiff.
Christine Schmidt, a/k/a Christine Morris v. Grady County,
Oklahoma, and Terry Cunningham, individually and as Deputy Sheriff
Grady County, No. 86,549.
Certified question from the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Oklahoma. Title 51 Sec. 155(6) immunizes political
subdivision from liability when individual sustained injury as a
result of negligent act or omission of political subdivision's law
enforcement personnel while acting within scope of employment in
taking individual into protective custody and transporting to jail.
Self Insurers' Management Group v. The YWCA of Oklahoma City, et
al., No. 86,718.
Group self-insurer did not violate Oklahoma Securities Act in
agreements with members.
Agreements were not unregistered securities, and statute's
amendment that exempts group self-insurer from being subject to
Oklahoma Securities Act was correctly applied retroactively to
insurer's agreements. Also, trial court erred when it determined
that agreements violated Workers Compensation Court rules because
there was no common interest between the Association's members.
Though members' businesses were dissimilar, record does not reflect
that Workers Compensation Court objected to dissimilar businesses
Raymond Lloyd Evans v. Oaks Mission Public School and Vince
Osburn, D. Holman and Nick Durant, No. 87,488.
Public school is immune from liability under Governmental Tort
Claims Act for student's injury incurred during supervised physical
education class, despite parent's proposition that school knew of
student's previous injury. School argued it had parent's approval.
Statute strictly construed so as to shield school from liability.
Special Indemnity Fund v. Richard S. Estill and The Workers
Compensation Court, No. 87,695.
Lay witness presented by claimant to show claimant's status as
physically impaired person was sufficient so as to invoke provisions
of the Special Indemnity Fund Act. Court of Civil Appeals erred when
it disregarded lay witnesses testimony that claimant's polio-caused
impairments were obvious and apparent before the work-related
Oklahoma Employers Safety Group, SIA v. Colbert Nursing Homes,
Inc. v. David Dank, No. 88,818.
Issues similar to those decided in Self Insurer's Management
Group v. The YWCA, et al., No. 86,718.
Oklahoma Securities Act not violated by group-insurer's agreements
with members. Also, group insurer did not breach Workers
Compensation Court Rules relating to manner in which group insurer's
advisory board was selected. Defendant Colbert made no showing that
failure of membership to elect board damaged defendant.
State of Oklahoma ex rel. Oklahoma Bar Association v. Ernest A.
Bedford, SCBD No. 4109.
License suspended for two years and one day and attorney ordered
to pay costs of $4,073. Court found by clear and convincing evidence
that attorney had knowledge of liens imposed on settlement fee he
client received when attorney cashed settlement check. …