LATASHIA V. PEREZ, BOTH INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF UNBORN CHILD OF TRAVIS CHIOKAI (DECEASED)
IRBY CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, ET AL.
FROM THE OFFICE OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION, DISTRICT 03
PARISH OF CALCASIEU, NO. 17-07615 HONORABLE DIANNE MARIE
MAYO, DISTRICT JUDGE
J. Rabalais, Janice B. Unland, Rabalais Unland COUNSEL FOR
DEFENDANTS/APPLICANTS: Irby Construction Company Old Republic
CThomas A. Filo Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson, L.L.C.
OUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/RESPONDENT: Latashia V. Perez, Latashia
V. Perez, o/b/o Unborn Child
composed of, Shannon J. Gremillion, Phyllis M. Keaty, and D.
Kent Savoie, Judges.
SHANNON J. GREMILLION JUDGE
Irby Construction Company and Old Republic Insurance Company,
seek supervisory review of the decision of the workers'
compensation judge's (WCJ) failure to maintain their
exception of no cause/right of action. For the reasons that
follow, we deny Applicants' writ application.
AND PROCUEDRAL POSTURE
Chiokai was killed on November 7, 2017, in a work-related
accident. At the time, Mr. Chiokai was not married, but was
romantically involved with Latashia Perez, who filed a
Disputed Claim for Compensation seeking death benefits on her
own behalf and on behalf of her then-unborn child. The child
was born and confirmed by DNA testing to be the child of Mr.
Chiokai. The child has been paid death benefits. Applicants
contested benefits for Ms. Perez on the basis La.R.S.
23:1253, which bars death benefits to the deceased
employee's "concubine." Applicants filed an
exception of no right/cause of action, which the WCJ denied.
This application followed.
benefits pursuant to the Louisiana Workers' Compensation
Act are determined by La.R.S. 23:1231, which provides:
A. For injury causing death within two years after the last
treatment resulting from the accident, there shall be paid to
the legal dependent of the employee, actually and wholly
dependent upon his earnings for support at the time of the
accident and death, a weekly sum as provided in this Subpart.
B. (1) If the employee leaves legal dependents only partially
actually dependent upon his earnings for support at the time
of the accident and death, the weekly compensation to be paid
shall be equal to the same proportion of the weekly payments
for the benefit of persons wholly dependent as the amount
contributed by the employee to such partial dependents in the
year prior to his death bears to the earnings of the deceased
at the time of the accident.
(2) If the employee leaves no legal dependents, whether
biological or adopted, entitled to benefits under any state
or federal compensation system, one lump sum payment of
seventy-five thousand dollars shall be paid to the
employee's surviving biological and adopted children who
are over the age of majority, to be divided equally among
them, which shall constitute the sole and exclusive
compensation in such cases.
(3) If the employee leaves no dependents entitled to benefits
under Paragraph (2) of this Subsection, one lump sum of
seventy-five thousand dollars shall be paid to the surviving
biological and adopted children of the employee to be divided
equally among them, which shall constitute the sole and
exclusive compensation in such cases. If the employee leaves
no legal dependents and no biological or adopted children
entitled to benefits under any state or federal compensation
system, the sum of seventy-five thousand dollars shall be
paid to ...