PETITION FOR REVIEW OF A DECISION OF THE WORKERS'
COMPENSATION BOARD ACTION NO. WC-13-64261
FOR APPELLANT: J. Christopher Hopgood
FOR APPELLEE SAM HODGE: Geordie Garatt
BEFORE: COMBS, LAMBERT AND K. THOMPSON, JUDGES.
THOMPSON, K., JUDGE:
County Fiscal Court appeals from the award of permanent total
disability benefits to Sam Hodge for an unlimited duration by
the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) as affirmed by the
Workers' Compensation Board. Given the Kentucky Supreme
Court's decision in Holcim v. Swinford, 581
S.W.3d 37, 44 (Ky. 2019), that the time limits set out in the
2018 amendment to Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) 342.730(4),
which limits the duration of benefits to workers who were
injured after they reached the age of seventy years or older
to four years, are to be applied retroactively, we
regretfully reverse and remand.
was working for Crittenden County Road Department on October
11, 2013, when his truck overturned, injuring his back. At
the time of the accident, Hodge was within two months of
being seventy-six years old.
claim was not heard by the ALJ until 2018, and the opinion,
award and order was not entered until February 26, 2018. The
ALJ determined Hodge was entitled to permanent total
disability benefits, finding "that the duration of the
benefits awarded to [Hodge] shall be for so long as he is
County Fiscal Court filed a motion for reconsideration. The
ALJ denied the motion for reconsideration and Crittenden
County Fiscal Court appealed.
House Bill 2 was approved on March 30, 2018, but would not
become effective until July 14, 2018. 2018 Ky. Acts Ch. 40
Section 13(4), House Bill 2 amended KRS 342.730(4) to read in
relevant part: "All income benefits payable pursuant to
this chapter shall terminate as of the date upon which the
employee reaches the age of seventy (70), or four (4) years
after the employee's injury or last exposure, whichever
Section 20(3), it provided:
Subsection (4) of Section 13 of this Act [KRS 342.730(4)]
shall apply prospectively and ...