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48-152. Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court; creation; jurisdiction; judges; selected or retained in office.
Recognizing that (1) industrial relations between employers and employees within the State of Nebraska are affected with a vital public interest, (2) an impartial and efficient administration of the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act is essential to the prosperity and well-being of the state, and (3) suitable laws should be enacted for the establishing and for the preservation of such an administration of the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act, there is hereby created, pursuant to the provisions of Article V, section 1, of the Nebraska Constitution, a court, consisting of seven judges, to be selected or retained in office in accordance with the provisions of Article V, section 21, of the Nebraska Constitution and to be known as the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court, which court shall have authority to administer and enforce all of the provisions of the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act, and any amendments thereof, except such as are committed to the courts of appellate jurisdiction or as otherwise provided by law.
Under this section, the Workers' Compensation Court can resolve only disputes between employers and employees that arise from the provisions of the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act; hence, because the act does not confer jurisdiction on the Workers' Compensation Court to hear personal injury suits against nonemployers, the Workers' Compensation Court does not have jurisdiction to resolve subrogation disputes between employers and employees stemming from funds recovered in a personal injury suit against a nonemployer. Miller v. M.F.S. York/Stormor, 257 Neb. 100, 595 N.W.2d 878 (1999).
The Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court may not acquire subject matter jurisdiction by estoppel. Anthony v. Pre-Fab Transit Co., 239 Neb. 404, 476 N.W.2d 559 (1991).
A workers' compensation award cannot be based on mere possibility or speculation, and if an inference favorable to the plaintiff can only be reached on the basis thereof, he or she cannot recover. Gray v. Fuel Economy Contracting Co., 236 Neb. 937, 464 N.W.2d 366 (1991).
The right of either party to refuse to accept the findings, order, award, or judgment of a compensation commissioner and to secure a rehearing or retrial before the compensation court is paramount to and exclusive of the right of appeal from such original decision to the district court. City of Lincoln v. Nebraska Workmen's Compensation Court, 133 Neb. 225, 274 N.W. 576 (1937).
Compensation court act is a complete and independent act in itself and, as such, modifies or amends existing statutes without violating constitutional provision relating to amendments. Scott v. Dohrse, 130 Neb. 847, 266 N.W. 709 (1936).