Barzey v. City of CuthbertAnnotate this Case
Appellant Louise Shorter Barzey challenged the constitutionality of certain provisions in the Workers' Compensation Act that precluded her, as a non-dependent parent, from recovering benefits for the death of her son, Deron Shorter, from his employer, the City of Cuthbert. Shorter was killed in 2010 while acting in the course of his employment with the City. He was 37 at the time of his death, was not married, and had no dependents. His mother Barzey was his only heir at law. After Shorter's death, Barzey filed a lawsuit against the City, seeking a judgment declaring that she has the right to sue the City. Barzey acknowledged that the Workers' Compensation Act provided the exclusive remedy of an employee's heirs for the employee's death during the course of his employment. She also acknowledged that the Act expressly said that the compensation for a deceased employee "shall be payable only to dependents and only during dependency." After its review, the Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s ruling that the Act's limitation on the recovery of nondependent heirs did not violate Barzey's constitutional rights to due process and equal protection.