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Anchorage School District v. Murdock (5/20/94), 873 P 2d 1291
Notice: This opinion is subject to correction before
publication in the Pacific Reporter. Readers are
requested to bring errors to the attention of the Clerk
of the Appellate Courts, 303 K Street, Anchorage,
THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF ALASKA
ANCHORAGE SCHOOL DISTRICT, )
) Supreme Court No. S-5458
) Superior Court No.
v. ) 3AN-91-9238 CI
JOHN MURDOCK, ) O P I N I O N
Appellee. ) [No. 4083 - May 20, 1994]
Appeal from the Superior Court of the
State of Alaska, Third Judicial District,
Joan M. Katz, Judge
Appearances: Patricia L. Zobel, John T.
Robertson, Staley, DeLisio & Cook, Anchorage,
for Appellant. Charles W. Coe, Anchorage,
Before: Moore, Chief Justice,
Rabinowitz, Matthews and Compton, Justices.
[Burke, Justice, not participating.]
This is a workers' compensation case challenging the
constitutionality of AS 23.30.185 and AS 23.30.265(21). We hold
that the appellee, John Murdock, does not have standing to sue in
this case, therefore we do not address the validity of the
Alaska Statutes 23.30.185 and 23.30.265(21) concern the
termination of temporary total disability (TTD) benefits due to
medical stability.1 Murdock argues that his TTD benefits were
terminated pursuant to the statutes and in violation of the due
process guarantees of the federal and state constitutions. We
disagree. On review of the record, we find that Murdock's
benefits terminated September 10, 1990, because he returned to
work, not because he reached medical stability. The question of
whether Murdock was entitled to additional benefits after October
8, 1990, did not involve the application of AS 23.30.185 or AS
Since Anchorage School District did not terminate
Murdock's benefits pursuant to the challenged statutes, Murdock
does not have standing to sue. In Municipality of Anchorage v.
Leigh we stated:
A party has standing to challenge the
constitutionality of a statute only insofar
as it has an adverse impact on his own
rights. As a general rule, if there is no
constitutional defect in the application of
the statute to a litigant, he does not have
standing to argue that it would be
unconstitutional if applied to third parties
in hypothetical situations. A limited
exception has been recognized for statutes
that broadly prohibit speech protected by the
823 P.2d 1241, 1245-46, n.11 (Alaska 1992) (quoting County Court
of Ulster v. Allen, 442 U.S. 140, 154-55 (1979)). Murdock's
benefits were not terminated due to medical stability, therefore,
he does not have standing.
We REVERSE the decision of the superior court and
reinstate the decision of the Board.
1 AS 23.30.185 requires that
[i]n case of disability total in
character but temporary in quality, 80
percent of the injured employee's spendable
weekly wages shall be paid . . . during the
continuance of the disability. Temporary
total disability benefits may not be paid for
any period of disability occurring after the
date of medical stability.
AS 23.30.265(21) defines medical stability as
the date after which further objectively
measurable improvement from the effects of
the compensable injury is not reasonably
expected to result from additional medical
care or treatment, notwithstanding the
possible need for additional medical care or
the possibility of improvement or
deterioration resulting from the passage of
time; medical stability shall be presumed in
the absence of objectively measurable
improvement for a period of 45 days; this
presumption may be rebutted by clear and
convincing evidence . . . .