In Simpson v. Dytex Chem. Co., 667 A.2d 1229 (R.I. 1995), the Supreme Court of Rhode Island reversed the compensation agency's denial of reimbursement for college tuition expenses, holding that the agency had applied a statute that was not in effect at the relevant time.
The operative statute provided that an "'employer shall bear the expense of rehabilitative services agreed to or ordered pursuant to this section.'" Id. at 1232.
The claimant had sought rehabilitation through a state agency other than the workers' compensation agency, but had failed to give the insurer notice and to afford it an opportunity to respond to the program approved by the rehabilitation agency.
The court remanded to the compensation agency "for a determination on the merits of the propriety of the petitioner's rehabilitation program and of subsequent reimbursement of expenses in the event the rehabilitation program is deemed appropriate by the compensation agency." Id. at 1232.