High court restores workers’ compensation claim

news_court_greenBy Jack Elliott Jr.

Associated Press

JACKSON – The Mississippi Supreme Court has ordered the state Workers Compensation Commission to determine what benefits should be paid to former Ripley alderman Lonnie Smith.

The Supreme Court rejected arguments, in a 6-3 decision Thursday, from Tippah Electric Power Association that Smith intentionally came in contact with power lines while inside a bucket truck on April 29, 2010. Smith lost both hands in the accident.

Three dissenting justices say the power lines Smith grabbed were three feet apart, raising questions about an accident claim.

Smith is serving 12 years for manslaughter in a 2010 fatal shooting.

The Workers Compensation Commission appointed a judge to hear Smith’s claim. The judge ruled Smith intentionally injured himself and was not entitled to compensation.

The Mississippi Court of Appeals upheld the judge’s ruling last May.

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