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FL - Court Overturns Denial of Employer's Motion for Costs as Partially Prevailing Party

05/24/2024 | 0

A Florida appellate court overturned a judge’s decision denying an employer’s motion for costs as a prevailing party on a worker’s claim. Frances Smith worked for the Palm Beach County School District. She allegedly injured her back and tailbone at work in June 2017. Smith filed a petition for benefits, seeking treatment for her back and tailbone. The School District agreed to accept and treat the tailbone injury in exchange for Smith withdrawing with prejudice her claim for compensability of the back injury. The parties stipulated to Smith’s entitlement to attorney... Read More

FL - JCC Errs in Failing to Find Worker's Claim for Additional Benefits Untimely

05/24/2024 | 0

A Florida appellate court ruled that a judge erred in failing to find that a worker’s claim for additional benefits was time-barred. Case: American Airlines Group v. Lopez, No. 1D2023-0379, 05/22/2024, published. Facts and procedural history: Alejandro Lopez worked for American Airlines Group. He suffered injuries at work in August 2019 and filed two petitions for benefits. AA eventually paid medical and indemnity benefits to Lopez. It last paid a medical bill on Sept. 22, 2020, and made its last indemnity payment on Nov. 13, 2020. AA later stipulated to Lopez’s entitlemen... Read More

NY - Worker Gets Summary Judgment on Labor Law Claim for Fall From Scaffold

05/24/2024 | 0

A New York appellate court upheld a grant of summary judgment on a worker’s Labor Law claim for his motorized scaffold accident. Case: De Los Santos v. Carlyle House Inc., No. 28573/17, 05/21/2024, published. Facts: Joel De Los Santos suffered injuries while working on a motorized scaffold during a construction project. According to De Los Santos, the scaffold misleveled while descending, causing him to slip on leaking motor oil and fall nearly two stories to a sidewalk bridge below. Procedural history: De Los Santos filed suit against Carlyle House Inc., asserting claims for violati... Read More

NY - Summary Judgment Inappropriate on Labor Law Claim for Worker's Fall Through Opening

05/24/2024 | 0

A New York appellate court ruled that summary judgment could not be granted on the Labor Law and indemnification claims arising from a worker’s fall through an opening with an unsecured cover. Case: Munoz v. JDS Seagirt LLC, No. 154427/17, 05/21/2024, published. Facts: Jose Guillermo Munoz worked for Pro Star Heating & Plumbing. While Munoz was working at a home construction site in Far Rockaway, he fell through an opening with an unsecured cover. The property was owned, and construction was overseen, by JDS Seagirt LLC, JDS Development LLC and JDS Construction Group. Sampog... Read More

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Press - CENTRE FOR NEURO SKILLS SPONSORS KIDS CHANCE OF AMERICA

05/16/2024 | 0

CENTRE FOR NEURO SKILLS SPONSORS KIDS CHANCE OF AMERICA Centre for Neuro Skills and Kids Chance of California work together to provide educational scholarships for children of injured workers Bakersfield, Calif. (May 16, 2024) Centre for Neuro Skills (CNS), a leading provider of traumatic and acquired brain injury rehabilitation services, announced its Silver Sponsorship of Kids Chance of California (KCOCA). Kids Chance, a national organization, provides scholarships and support to children of workers injured on the job. While Centre for Neuro Skills focuses on providing ... Read More

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NJ - Geaney: Paying Twice

By John H. Geaney
05/24/2024 | 0

Imagine a conversation in a restaurant between a customer who orders a three-course meal and the waiter, who brings the customer a bill after the first course.  “But I have not even finished dinner yet,” objects the customer. The waiter responds, “You misunderstand. This bill is just for the procedure. We had several cooks working on this meal.” At the end of the meal, the waiter then brings a second bill to the table, announcing, “Now, this is the bill for your food.” But isn’t that paying twice? One might say that this hypo... Read More

CA - Senate Passes Amended Bill to Provide TD for Medical Treatment

05/24/2024 | 0

The California Senate passed a bill requiring temporary disability benefits for those who miss work to receive medical treatment after an occupational injury becomes permanent and stationary. The Senate on Wednesday voted 29-8 to pass SB 1205, by Sen. John Laird D-Santa Cruz, which would require employers to provide temporary disability benefits in addition to transportation, meals and lodging incidental to medical treatment. Those who have returned to work would be entitled to one day of TD benefits for each day of lost wages or a percentage of one day of TD benefits representative of ... Read More

NC - Senate Confirms Reappointment of Commissioner Gillen

05/24/2024 | 0

The North Carolina Senate unanimously confirmed the reappointment of James C. Gillen to the state Industrial Commission. The Carolina Journal reports that the Senate on Thursday voted 45-0 to confirm Gillen’s appointment for a six-year term that expires June 30, 2030. Gillen started his career with the Industrial Commission in 1994 as an agency legal specialist. He served as a deputy commissioner from 2005 and was nominated to serve as a commissioner in 2019. He earned his bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University and his law degree from Campbell University. ... Read More

MA - Study: Opioid Deaths More Likely Among State's Injured Workers

05/24/2024 | 0

Working-age Massachusetts residents who died between 2011 and 2020 were 35% more likely to have succumbed to an opioid-related overdose if they had previously been injured at work, according to data released Thursday by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. In linking the aftermath of work-related injuries to opioid-related overdose deaths, DPH compiled public health information about individuals’ employment and work-related injury statuses from their workers’ compensation claims and linked it with data from death certificates. By linking these data sets, DPH found ... Read More

OK - Lawmakers Approve 2024 Fee Schedule

05/24/2024 | 0

The Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission announced that state lawmakers have approved the updated 2024 Medical Fee Schedule. The state House of Representatives voted 94-1 to pass House Joint Resolution 1035 in March. The Senate voted 44-0 in April to pass an amended resolution that included an emergency clause that allows the fee schedule to apply to services provided on or after July 1. The House unanimously passed the amended resolution on May 2. Gov. Kevin Stitt signed the resolution on May 8. The 2024 Medical Fee Schedule sets the maximum allowable rates of reimbursement for... Read More

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Press - American Heart Association Honors Centre for Neuro Skills With Major Award

05/01/2024 | 0

Media Contact: Robin Carr Landis Communications Inc. 415.766.0927 CNS@landispr.com   American Heart Association Honors Centre for Neuro Skills with Group Stroke Hero Award Bakersfield, Calif. May 1, 2024 American Heart Association (AHA) awarded Centre for Neuro Skills, a leading brain injury and rehabilitation provider, with the Group Stroke Heroes award. The group hero award recognizes a group committed to educating, inspiring, and bringing awareness to stroke. CNS was selected among other stroke support groups, stroke teams, families, private associations, medical faciliti... Read More

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NC - Court Has Jurisdiction Over Worker's Tort Suit for Sexual Assault

05/23/2024 | 0

The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled that the Industrial Commission did not have exclusive jurisdiction over a worker’s injury claim based on alleged sexual assault by a work-release inmate training him for his job. Andrew Alderete began working for Sunbelt Furniture Xpress Inc. in December 2019. Sunbelt also employed inmates in a North Carolina Department of Corrections prison work-release program. Sunbelt assigned Danni Billips, an inmate who was part of the work-release program, to train Alderete. Alderete claimed that he observed Billips intoxicated at work on ... Read More

PA - Court Upholds Denial of Widow's Claim for Truck Driver's Fatal Heart Attack

05/23/2024 | 0

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania upheld the denial of a widow’s claim for a truck driver’s fatal heart attack. Case: Dnistranskiy v. Brite Logistics Inc. (WCAB), No. 414 C.D. 2023, 05/10/2024, unpublished. Facts: Igor Dnistranskiy worked as a truck driver for Brite Logistics Inc. He suffered a heart attack while at work on March 15, 2017, and died that day. His death certificate lists the cause of death as “hypertensive arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease.” Procedural history: Dnistranskiy’s widow filed a workers’ compensation claim, alleg... Read More

HI - Court Says Board Applied Wrong Standard of Proof to Deny Worker's PPD Claim

05/23/2024 | 0

Hawaii’s Intermediate Court of Appeals overturned the denial of a worker’s claim for permanent partial disability benefits, finding that the Labor and Industrial Relations Appeals Board imposed the wrong standard of proof in her case. Case: Leopoldino v. Hawaii Department of Education, No. CAAP-19-0000431, 05/17/2024, unpublished. Facts: Wanda L. Leopoldino worked for the Hawaii Department of Education. She suffered an injury at work in October 2007. Procedural history: Leopoldino applied for permanent partial disability benefits but the Labor and Industrial Relations Appea... Read More

MD - Court Dismisses Dispute Over Whether Worker Qualifies as Public Safety Employee

05/23/2024 | 0

The Maryland Appellate Court rejected a dispute over whether an injured worker qualified as a public safety employee due to a lack of jurisdiction. Case: Clifton T. Perkins Hospital v. Frierson, No. 413, 05/16/2024, unpublished. Facts: Sammy L. Frierson was a security attendant at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital. He filed two claims with the Workers’ Compensation Commission for injuries he sustained in 2020. Procedural history: In each claim, the commission found that Frierson was a public safety employee and ordered the state to pay benefits to him accordingly. Generally, an i... Read More

CA - Owners of Janitorial Company Charged With Premium Fraud

05/23/2024 | 0

The California Department of Insurance announced that the owners of a janitorial firm were charged with fraud for allegedly underreporting payroll by more than $2.4 million to reduce their work comp premiums and dodge payroll taxes. The department said it launched an investigation into Jose Arredondo, 50, and his wife, Olga Chaves, 45, after an employee of their San Bernardino County company was injured and their carrier suspected fraud. The investigation reportedly found that the injured worker had been employed by Team Janitorial since 2015, but the company’s work comp policy was for ... Read More

OR - USPS Ordered to Pay Damages for Firing Worker Who Reported Injury

05/23/2024 | 0

The U.S. Postal Service must pay $141,307 in lost wages and damages to a probationary letter carrier who alleged an illegal firing for reporting a work-related injury, the U.S. Department of Labor said Wednesday. The judgment followed a two-day bench trial at the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. Judge Adrienne Nelson found that the Postal Service discriminated against and wrongfully fired the worker 21 days after reporting a leg injury, which occurred while the worker was unloading mail from a postal truck. The agency fired the worker 11 days before the probationary period end... Read More

NY - Bill Would Raise Preauthorization Limit to $1,500

05/23/2024 | 0

New York lawmakers are proposing to increase the threshold for determining whether certain medical procedures require prior approval and to prohibit using the list of pre-approved procedures to deny treatment. Senate Bill 6929 and companion Assembly Bill 6832 would increase to $1,500 from $1,000 the threshold requiring preapproval for specialist consultations, surgical operations, physiotherapeutic or occupational therapy procedures, X-rays or special diagnostic lab tests. The bill would also clarify that the list of preauthorized procedures the Workers’ Compensation Board is required ... Read More