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Jacobitz v. Aurora Cooperative

Supreme Court of Nebraska

December 27, 2013

John Jacobitz, appellee,
v.
Aurora Cooperative, appellant.

Page 378

Appeal from the Workers' Compensation Court: J. MICHAEL FITZGERALD, Judge. Appeal dismissed, and cause remanded for further proceedings.

Patrick R. Guinan, of Erickson & Sederstrom, P.C., for appellant.

Jacob M. Steinkemper, of Brock Law Offices, P.C., L.L.O., for appellee.

Heavican, C.J., Wright, Connolly, Stephan, Miller-Lerman, and Cassell, JJ.

Syllabus by the Court

1. Judgments: Appeal and Error. An appellate court independently reviews questions of law decided by a lower court.

2. Judgments: Jurisdiction. A jurisdictional issue that does not involve a factual dispute presents a question of law.

3. Jurisdiction: Final Orders: Appeal and Error. For an appellate court to acquire jurisdiction of an appeal, the party must be appealing from a final order or a judgment.

4. Final Orders: Appeal and Error. Under Neb.Rev.Stat. § 25-1902 (Reissue 2008), an appellate court may review three types of final orders: (1) an order that affects a substantial right and that determines the action and prevents a judgment, (2) an order that affects a substantial right made during a special proceeding, and an order that affects a substantial right made on summary application in an action after a judgment is rendered.

5. Workers' Compensation: Appeal and Error. A party can appeal an order from the Workers' Compensation Court if it affects the party's substantial right.

[287 Neb. 98] 6. Final Orders. Substantial rights under Neb.Rev.Stat. § 25-1902 (Reissue 2008) include those legal rights that a party is entitled to enforce or defend.

7. Final Orders: Appeal and Error. A substantial right is affected if an order affects the subject matter of the litigation, such as diminishing a claim or defense that was available to an appellant before the order from which an appeal is taken.

8. Final Orders: Appeal and Error. When multiple issues are presented to a trial court for simultaneous disposition in the same proceeding and the court decides some of the issues, while reserving other issues for later determination, the court's determination of fewer than all the issues is an interlocutory order and is not a final order for the purpose of an appeal.

9. Workers' Compensation: Final Orders: Legislature: Intent: Appeal and Error. Permitting employers to appeal from an adverse ruling before the Workers' Compensation Court has determined benefits is inconsistent with the Legislature's intent to provide prompt benefits to injured workers.

Page 379

10. Workers' Compensation: Judgments: Final Orders. From the date of this decision, a Workers' Compensation Court's finding of a compensable injury or its rejection of an affirmative defense without a determination of benefits is not an order that affects ...


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