Mid Century Ins. Co. v. Texas Workers’ Compensation Comm’n

187 S.W.3d 754 (Tex. App.-Austin 2006, no pet.)

As counsel for Mid-Century Insurance Company (one of the member companies of the Farmers Insurance Group of companies), we filed suit for declaratory judgment against the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission to challenge the validity of Commission rule 131.1(b) regarding payment of Lifetime Income Benefits (“LIBs”). Under the rule, when an injured employee became eligible for LIBs, insurers were required to pay LIBs retroactively back to the employee’s original date of disability rather than from the date of eligibility for LIBs forward. In cases where there was a long period between the date of disability and the development of a LIB-qualifying condition, the rule resulted in substantial overpayments to injured employees. On behalf of Mid-Century, we argued that the Commission exceeded its statutory authority in adopting the rule. The Third Court of Appeals in Austin agreed and declared the rule invalid.