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In re Estate of Evertson

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

March 8, 2016

IN RE ESTATE OF BRUCE F. EVERTSON, DECEASED.
v.
JULIE A. WAMSLEY, PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE OF BRUCE F. EVERTSON, DECEASED, APPELLEE TRAVELERS INDEMNITY COMPANY, APPELLANT,

Page 679

Appeal from the County Court for Morrill County: PAUL G. WESS, Judge.

Gregory W. Plank, of Ray Lego & Associates, for appellant.

R. Kevin O'Donnell, of Law Office of R. Kevin O'Donnell, P.C., L.L.O., for appellee.

MOORE, Chief Judge, and IRWIN and INBODY, Judges.

OPINION

Page 680

[23 Neb.App. 735] Inbody, Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Travelers Indemnity Company (Travelers) appeals the order of the Morrill County Court finding that Travelers was to receive no proceeds in a fair and equitable distribution of thirdparty settlement proceeds.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

On February 4, 2014, Bruce F. Evertson, chief executive officer of Evertson Well Service, Inc., was killed after being involved in a motor vehicle accident with a tractor-trailer unit driven by Dennis Dobrinski. Evertson was killed while acting in the course and scope of his employment. Travelers provided insurance for Evertson Well Service pursuant to the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act. Travelers is paying benefits to Darla Evertson (Darla), Evertson's surviving spouse, of $728 per week, which benefits will be paid until she dies or remarries. If Darla remarries, Travelers will pay her a 2-year lump sum

Page 681

settlement. According to the life expectancy table found in the " Nebraska Workers['] Compensation Rules of Procedure Addendum 2," Darla has a life expectancy of 27.6 years.

The Estate of Bruce F. Evertson (Estate) resolved the wrongful death claims with Dobrinski's insurance carrier, Employers Mutual Casualty (EMC). Travelers consented to the settlement. EMC paid $500,000 from the policy to the Estate, of which $125,000 was allocated to Evertson's adult son, $125,000 was allocated to Evertson's adult daughter, and $250,000 was allocated to Darla.

On August 4, 2014, Travelers filed a statement of claim asserting a workers' compensation lien and future credits. A hearing was held on November 17 to determine a fair and equitable division of the $250,000 of settlement proceeds between Travelers and Darla and the amount, if any, of ...


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