In Holley v. Ace American, the court said that Oklahoma, not Texas law would determine whether an insurance company could subrogate (get paid back) against a widow's wrongful death damages for the death of her husband/worker. Ace had paid workers compensation benefits to the widow for the death of her husband under Texas law, and sought to get paid back for any amounts she recovered in a wrongful death action. But Oklahoma, unlike Texas, does not allow an insurer to get paid back for death benefits paid. The court ruled that because the employment relationship was created in Oklahoma, Oklahoma law would apply to preclude subrogation. It didn't matter that the widow sought and was paid benefits under Texas Workers Compensation law. The Court stated:
"The right of an employee to compensation arises from the contractual relationship existing between the employee and the employer on the date of injury, and the statutes then in force form part of that contract and determine the substantive rights and obligations of the parties." Knott v. Halliburton Services, 1988 OK 29, ¶ 4, 752 P.2d 812, 813. "The right to compensation and the obligation to pay such benefits are vested, and become fixed by law at the time of the injury." Id. (emphasis added). More particularly, this Court has said "Rights of survivors of a deceased employee [to] claim death benefits . . . become fixed upon date of death and are determinable under the law in effect on that date." Independent School District No. 89 v. McReynolds, 1974 OK 136, 528 P.2d 313 (syllabus).
Since the rights became vested on the date of injury, it didn't matter where the claim was filed.