Supreme Court rejects death row inmate’s appeal

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The Nebraska Supreme Court has rejected the latest appeal of a Texas man on Nebraska’s death row for killed two Grand Island men in 2007.

Marco Torres Jr., formerly of Pasadena, Texas, had sought post-conviction relief for a third time after being sentenced to death for two counts of first-degree murder and other counts in the robbery and shooting deaths of 48-year-old Timothy Donohue and 60-year-old Edward Hall. In his latest appeal, Torres argued that his death sentence should be converted to life in prison based on the Legislature’s vote to repeal the state’s death penalty in 2015. Nebraska voters later reinstated the death penalty.

Torres argued in the appeal that the referendum process to reinstate Nebraska’s capital punishment and his death sentence amounted to violations of his constitutional due process rights and against cruel and unusual punishment.

The state’s high court on Friday rejected Torres’ arguments, saying it found no merit to his claims.

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Workers’ Compensation Subrogation of Administrative Fees and Costs

When a worker covered by workers’ compensation makes a claim against a third party, the workers’ compensation insurance retains the right to subrogate against any recovery from that third party for all benefits paid to or on behalf of a claimant injured at work. When subrogating for more than basic medical and indemnity benefits, the Texas workers’ compensation subrogation statute provides that “the net amount recovered by a claimant in a third‑party action shall be used to reimburse the carrier for benefits, including medical benefits that have been paid for the compensable injury.” TX Labor Code § 417.002.

In fact, all 50 states provide for similar subrogation. However, none of them precisely outlines which payments or costs paid by a compensation carrier constitute “compensation” and can be recovered. The result is industry-wide confusion and an ongoing debate and argument with claimants’ attorneys over what can and can’t be included in a carrier’s lien for recovery purposes.

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