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CA - Chiropractor Sentenced to More Than 54 Years, Fined $23M

04/16/2024 | 0

A Southern California chiropractor accused of illegally running a law firm to funnel injured workers into his network of medical clinics to churn bills was ordered to serve more than 54 years in state prison and fined $23 million, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office announced. Peyman Heidary, 53, was ordered to serve 54 years and eight months in a state prison at a sentencing hearing Friday. He was also ordered to pay more than $23 million in fines for his role in orchestrating what prosecutors said was a $150 million work comp fraud scheme. A jury in January convicted Peym... Read More

CO - Worker Gets Benefits for Head Injury

04/16/2024 | 0

The Colorado Court of Appeals upheld an award of benefits to a municipal employee for a head injury that necessitated two brain surgeries and left him with cognitive difficulties. Case: Town of Kiowa v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office, No. 23CA1605, 04/11/2024, published. Facts: Kent Berends worked for the Town of Kiowa as a public works manager. He struck his head on a metal car lift while at work on April 30, 2020. Berends did not immediately report the incident to anyone at work, but in the following days, both he and his wife allegedly noticed he had difficulty remembering things, was s... Read More

LA - Worker's Claim for COVID-19 Infection Dismissed as Untimely

04/16/2024 | 0

A Louisiana appellate court upheld the dismissal of a worker’s claim for a COVID-19 infection, finding it was time-barred. Case: Linn v. Ouachita Parish Police Jury, No. 55,480-WCA, 04/10/2024, published. Facts: Montreal Linn worked for the Ouachita Parish Police Jury through a government grant program. He was employed as a sanitation worker at two recreation centers in Monroe. Linn allegedly contracted COVID-19 in October 2021. He missed 12 days of work and then spent a week on modified duty before returning to full duty. Linn was terminated in December 2021. He contacted mult... Read More

OH - Worker With History of Injuries Gets PTD Benefits

04/16/2024 | 0

An Ohio appellate court upheld an award of permanent total disability benefits to a worker who suffered multiple injuries in a series of incidents while working for three employers. Case: State ex rel. Freedom Center v. Industrial Commission, No. 22AP-87, 04/11/2024, published. Facts: Debra J. Singletary suffered injuries in a work-related fall in 1994. Singletary fell at work again in 1996 while working for a different employer. Singletary filed workers’ compensation claims for both accidents and received benefits. In September 2005, Singletary was working for the Freedom Cente... Read More

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Press - Centre for Neuro Skills Study Finds Differences in Sleep Patterns Between Men and Women with Post-Traumatic Brain Injury

03/05/2024 | 0

Centre for Neuro Skills Study Finds Differences in Sleep Patterns Between Men and Women with Post-Traumatic Brain Injury Incidental finding indicates Melatonin helps post-acute TBI patients achieve longer REM sleep   Bakersfield, Calif. (Mar. 5) Centre for Neuro Skills?(CNS), a premier provider of traumatic and acquired brain injury rehabilitation services, has shared findings from a study researching sleep-wake disturbances, published in Neurotrauma Reports on January 3, 2024. They found that sleep deficits are correlated with poorer brain injury patient outcomes (verbal ... Read More

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CA - Snyder: Public Benefit Rules Have Changed, but It Might Not Make a Difference

By Teddy Snyder
04/12/2024 | 0

In July 2022, I alerted readers about a new Medi-Cal eligibility law, California Welfare and Institutions Code §14005.62, which removed the asset limit test. As of Jan. 1, 2024, there is no asset limit. That means a settling claimant can use proceeds to buy a house in his/her own name. He or she can have a bank account with more than the previously limited amount. Easy-peasy, right? Not quite. What about income? A settling claimant also needs income. Some seriously injured claimants will not be able to return to the workforce. That means the funds need to be scrupul... Read More

NY - Court Upholds Dismissal of Claims for Construction Accident

04/16/2024 | 0

A New York appellate court upheld the dismissal of a worker’s Labor Law claim for his injuries received during a bridge construction project. Case: Valenti v. Metropolitan Transportation Authority, No. 300333/10, 04/11/2024, published. Facts: Roberto Valenti allegedly suffered injuries while working on a construction project for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority and the American Bridge Co. Procedural history: Lawrence filed suit against the MTA, TBTA and ABC, asserting claims for violation of Labor Law Sections 200 and 241(6). Secti... Read More

FL - State Joins Texas in Prohibiting Local Workplace Safety Rules

04/16/2024 | 1

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed a bill that prevents cities and counties from forcing private employers to do anything beyond what the federal government requires to protect their workers from heat injuries. The governor on Thursday signed House Bill 433, by the House Commerce Committee, which generally prohibits local governments from enforcing certain employment rules or practices that are different than those enforced by the state or federal government. For example, the bill prohibits political subdivisions from trying to influence wages or employment benefits provided by v... Read More

NATL. - OSHA Sets Training Event

04/16/2024 | 0

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is holding a free three-day training event in Illinois to educate federal agency safety and health personnel on how to provide safe and healthful workplaces for federal workers. A series of in-person and online half-day seminars will cover topics including verbal de-escalation techniques, control of hazardous energy, forklift operation and material handling, electrical safety and fire protection. Other seminars will cover emergency preparedness, bloodborne pathogens, effective respiratory protection programs and limiting exposure to s... Read More

IL - Worker Who Repeatedly Failed to Appear at Hearings Can't Get Claim Reinstated

04/15/2024 | 0

The Illinois Appellate Court upheld the denial of a worker’s third motion to reinstate her claim after it was dismissed following her failure to appear or have her attorney appear before an arbitrator. Eugenia Bala worked for Covenant Care at Home. She filed a workers’ compensation claim for alleged injuries she sustained on June 25, 2015. Covenant filed a motion to dismiss the case for want of prosecution in August 2017. An arbitrator granted the motion after Bala failed to appear at two hearings. Bala filed a motion to reinstate her case in September 2017, and the arbitra... Read More

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Press - Meet Our Newest Junior Partners!

02/20/2024 | 0

Meet Our New Junior Partners! Join us in congratulating the ten attorneys that have been offered and accepted promotions within the Firm. Extend a warm congratulations to Nina Francisco, Chantell Gonzalez-Nieves, Kenton Trigger, Vanessa Coe, Jacqueline Clemett, Scott Darling, Nick Stark, Eugene Vinitsky, Catarina Do and Darla Gretzner on their achievements. Congratulations!   Read More

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OR - Adult Children of Fatally Injured Worker Aren't Constitutionally Guaranteed Remedy for Loss

04/15/2024 | 0

The Oregon Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of a civil suit against a fatally injured worker’s employer, ruling that the state Constitution does not guarantee a remedy for the worker’s adult children for the loss of their mother’s companionship. Case: Pierce v. Best Western International Inc., No. 215, 04/10/2024, published. Facts and procedural history: Patricia Ann Stout worked for Connor Enterprises Inc. She died in 2019 as a result of an on-the-job accident. The representative of her estate filed suit against Connor, asserting claims for negligence, violations of t... Read More

NY - Worker Can't Add New Defendant to Labor Law Complaint

04/15/2024 | 0

A New York appellate court ruled that a worker was not entitled to amend his Labor Law complaint to add a new defendant and that the named defendant was entitled to summary judgment dismissing his claim. Case: Ragusa v. Drazie's Farm II LLC, No. 022-05950, 04/10/2024, published. Facts: Matthew Ragusa allegedly was injured when he fell from a ladder while he was removing decorations and light fixtures from a support column in a tent. Procedural history: Ragusa filed suit against Drazie's Farm II LLC, the alleged owner of the property where the accident occurred, asserting a claim for... Read More

PA - Worker Gets Award of Penalties; Employer Gets No Additional Subrogation Credit

04/15/2024 | 0

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania upheld an award of penalties for an injured worker and ruled that her employer was not entitled to additional subrogation credit. Case: Medical Revenue Associates v. Kanefsky (WCAB), No. 1186 C.D. 2022, 04/03/2024, unpublished. Facts and procedural history: Sue Ellen Kanefsky worked for Medical Revenue Associates. She suffered multiple injuries at work on Jan. 19, 2015. Kanefsky settled a third-party lawsuit relating to the injuries for $650,000 in August 2018. Subject to expenses, the balance of recovery for the settlement was $370,988.66. Kanefs... Read More

CA - Contractor Pleads Guilty to Underreporting Payroll

04/15/2024 | 0

A contractor who pleaded guilty to underreporting payroll by nearly $1 million from 2010 to 2019 was placed on probation and ordered to pay $729,624 in restitution, the California Department of Insurance announced. Kent Bo Fridolfsson, 67, was also ordered to surrender his contractor’s license. The Insurance Department said Fridolfsson is the former president and owner of construction company Diversified Specialists. He had work comp coverage with State Compensation Insurance Fund from 2010 to 2021. He reported no payroll from 2010 to 2019. However, the department said one of his empl... Read More

NE - Lawmakers Send Schedule Rating Bill to Governor

04/15/2024 | 0

Nebraska lawmakers sent to the governor a bill that would revise the schedule of compensation for loss or loss of use of more than one specific body part. LB 1017, by Sen. Carolyn Bosn, R-Lincoln, would clarify current law regarding entitlement to benefits when the loss of more than one hand, arm, foot or leg results in at least a 30% loss of earning capacity. “Under the bill, loss or loss of use of multiple parts of the same arm, including the hand and fingers, or loss or loss of use of multiple parts of the same leg, including the foot and toes, resulting from the same accid... Read More

CO - House Passes Bill to Increase Benefits

04/15/2024 | 0

The Colorado House of Representatives passed a bill that would increase the aggregate limits on temporary and permanent disability benefits. The House on Thursday voted 42-18 to pass HB 1220, by Rep. Lindsey Daugherty, D-Arvada. Under current law, benefits are determined based on impairment rating. An injured worker with a rating of 19% or lower can get up to $75,000 in combined temporary disability and permanent partial disability benefits. HB 1220 would increase that to $185,000. Current law caps combined TD and PPD benefits at $150,000 for ratings greater than 19%. HB 1220 would... Read More

CA - Committee Passes TD Expansion, Ag Worker Protection Bills

04/12/2024 | 1

Members of a California Senate committee passed bills that would in some instances make temporary disability benefits available after an injury becomes permanent and stationary and create a presumption that heat-related injuries are compensable for agricultural workers under certain circumstances. The Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee on Wednesday voted 4-1 to pass: SB 1205, by Sen. John Laird, D-Santa Cruz, which would prohibit employers from retaliating against those who get treatment for compensable injuries when they would normally be working and would authorize ... Read More