Ferguson v. State Workmen's Compensation Commissioner
In Ferguson v. State Workmen's Compensation Commissioner, 152 W. Va. 366, 163 S.E.2d 465 (1968), an injured Mr. Ferguson was examined by the then-called Silicosis Medical Board, and found by the Board to be entitled to a 30 percent permanent partial disability award.
The Board forwarded this decision to the Commissioner, who officially made the award on June 2, 1967. Unfortunately, Mr. Ferguson died ten days before, on May 23, 1967.
The Court explained its holding by stating:
"Alleged rights and remedies, not provided by the workmen's compensation statutes, can not be recognized or granted by the courts. As the statutory requirement that a valid award of compensation must be made to the claimant while living to entitle his widow to receive the unpaid balance of such award has not been satisfied in this case, this Court is without power or authority to award compensation benefits to the dependent widow of the deceased employee, Hercy C. Ferguson, or to relieve her from the unfortunate situation which has resulted from the untimely death of her husband."