Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals
For week ended May 1.
Multiple Injury Trust Fund, vs. Connie Young and the Workers
Compensation Court, No. 95,378.
In 1986, Connie Young suffered a compensable on-the-job injury
and the Workers Compensation Court awarded benefits for 12.5 percent
permanent partial disability (PPD). In 1991, she suffered another on-
the-job injury and the Workers Compensation Court awarded benefits
of 15.67 percent. In 1994, the Workers' Compensation Court granted
benefits against the Multiple Injury Trust Fund for 6 percent PPD
representing a material increase in disability due to the combined
effect of the previously adjudicated disabilities and the
disabilities attributable to the latest injury. In March 1998, she
suffered another compensable injury to her back. She settled her
claim with her employer for slightly less than 20 percent PPD. The
trial court awarded benefits against Multiple Injury Trust Fund,
The court sustained the trial court's order.
Alice B. Davis, vs. Board of Regents for Oklahoma State
University and the Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges, No. 93,878.
The trial court granted Defendants' motions for summary judgment.
The court ruled there was no public policy tort claim, because
the essential element to the claim, actual termination of the
employer-employee relationship, did not exist. Because Plaintiff did
not initiate her action until well over a year later, the court
ruled that there was no actionable defamation claim. Plaintiff
argued that her due process rights were violated because she was
deprived of her protected liberty and property interest without a
meaningful opportunity to be heard. The court dismissed this
argument, ruling that since Plaintiff filed suit against a political
subdivision, she was bound by the provisions of the Oklahoma
Governmental Tort Claims Act, 51 O.S. 1991, Section 151 et seq.,
which she failed to follow.
Bertha Z. Dorn, vs. Heritage Trust Co., No. 93,448.
On July 2, 1999, the trial court filed a Decree of Divorce for
Bertha Z. Dorn and Ralph H. Dorn. The trial court ordered real
estate in the Bricktown area of Oklahoma City sold, with the net
proceeds to be divided equally. Both parties appealed the trial
On appeal, Bertha Dorn argued that the jointly acquired property
she and her husband transferred to her revocable trust by quitclaim
deed became her separate property and was not subject to equitable
division. The court disagreed, stating that the transfer occurred
while the parties were still married. Based on this, the court ruled
that the trial court's decision was not against the clear weight of
the evidence. Ralph Dorn also appealed the trial court's decree,
arguing that the trial court erred by determining that her
disability income, which she received as a benefit under insurance
policies purchased with marital funds, was her separate property.
The court ruled that disability benefits replace separate property
and thus, the trial court was correct in determining that her
disability income was her separate property.
State of Oklahoma, ex rel. Commissioners of the Land Office, vs.
Rex Allen Bruce and Sally Bruce, No. 95, 325.
The trial court denied State's attempt to quiet title, and
quieted title to the abandoned property in the remaining defendants.
On appeal, the court first noted the "trust" nature of lands
reserved to the State for use by the schools. The courts in
Williams v. Sowards, 219 P.2d 1005 (Okla. 1950), Missouri-Kansas-
Texas R. Co. v. Ray, 177 F.2d 454 (10th Cir. 1949), and Territory v.
Choctaw, O. & W. Ry. Co., 95 P. 420 (Okla. 1908) uniformly held that
by territorial condemnation proceedings, a railroad obtained only an
easement, not fee title, to land occupied for railroad purposes, and
that accordingly, grantees from the railroad obtained no "absolute
or fee simple estate in said property by reason of their claim of
title derived from the condemnation proceedings under the
territorial statutes. …