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Top Stories

OH - Court Upholds Dismissal of Worker's Latest Challenge to BWC Debit Card Program

05/20/2022 | 0

An Ohio appellate court upheld the dismissal of a worker’s latest effort to obtain compensation for fees that were allegedly deducted from his benefits as part of the state’s debit card benefit payment program. In February 2021, Michael Cirino filed a class-action complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. The action arose from a debit card program established by the Bureau of Workers' Compensation for the payment of benefits. Cirino alleged he was "involuntarily and unlawfully assessed service fees, charges, costs or e... Read More

MS - No Duty Disability Retirement Benefits for Injured Correctional Officer

05/20/2022 | 0

The Mississippi Court of Appeals upheld the denial of an injured correctional officer’s claim for duty disability retirement benefits. Case: Smith v. Public Employees Retirement System of Mississippi, No. 2021-SA-00051-COA, 05/03/2022, published. Facts: John Smith worked as a correctional officer at Washington County Regional Correctional Facility in Greenville, Mississippi. On March 29, 2016, less than two months after he was hired, Smith was injured while attempting to restrain an unruly inmate. That same day, Smith went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a right knee strain. A l... Read More

NC - High Court Clarifies Requirements for Commission to Find 'Good Grounds' for Reconsideration

05/20/2022 | 0

In a case of first impression, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled that the Industrial Commission need not expressly state that it found good grounds to reconsider a deputy’s decision, nor does it need to expressly identify the grounds on which it relied. Case: Forte v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., No. COA 20-904, 05/03/2022, published. Facts: Gary Forte worked for nearly a decade as a roll changer for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. He allegedly injured his knee in a fall at work in June 2015 but did not report the incident until September of that year. Procedural history: Forte... Read More

NY - Worker Fails to Assert Viable Labor Law Claim for Fall From Truck

05/20/2022 | 0

A New York appellate court ruled that a worker failed to assert a viable Labor Law claim for his alleged injuries from a fall from a truck. Case: Auriemma v. Brooklyn Hospital Center, Nos. 2019-06744 and 2019-08074, 04/27/2022, published. Facts: Thomas Auriemma allegedly suffered injuries when he fell from a truck as he was unloading mattresses at the Brooklyn Hospital Center. Procedural history: Auriemma filed a personal injury action against the hospital, asserting claims for violation of the Labor Law. The hospital moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint. Kings County Suprem... Read More

Industry Insights

NATL. - Paduda: Invasion of the Techies

By Joe Paduda
05/20/2022 | 0

Artificial intelligence. Blockchain. Wearables. Smartphones. Chatbots. Various combinations thereof. All these tech wonder-things are working their way into workers’ comp, or at least trying to. I’ve been tracking this sporadically (who has time to monitor all the press releases announcing this revolutionary app or that whiz-bang solution?) and have come to a few conclusions. With rare exceptions, the companies developing and offering these “solutions” are founded and run by either a) clinicians or b) techies. Those run by techies seem to think they can... Read More

NY - Roofer's Inconsistent Accounts of Accident Preclude Summary Judgment on Labor Law Claim

05/20/2022 | 0

A New York appellate court ruled that a roofer who provided differing accounts of how he fell from a ladder was not entitled to summary judgment on his Labor Law claim. Case: Jurski v. City of New York, No. 2019-07626, 04/27/2022, published. Facts: Andrezj Jurski worked as a roofer for Kel-Tech Construction. He allegedly sustained injuries when he fell from an extension ladder while renovating a bulkhead on the roof of a building at a public high school in Queens. Procedural history: Jurski filed suit against the City of New York, asserting a claim for violation of Labor Law Section 240(1).... Read More

CA - Ted Richards Appointed DWC Chief Counsel

05/20/2022 | 2

California Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Ted Richards to serve as chief counsel of the Division of Workers’ Compensation. The chief counsel works under the general direction of the DWC administrative director to plan, organize and manage the division’s Legal Unit. Richards has been a sole practitioner since 2020. Before that, he was managing attorney in the Sacramento and Chico offices of Stander Reubens Thomas Kinsey, where he worked since 1999. Richards was an attorney at Naekel and Phenix in 1998 and 1999, a legal researcher at Beal, Schmidt & Dyer from 1995 to 199... Read More

NATL. - Sedgwick Announces Acquisition of Orchid Medical

05/20/2022 | 0

Sedgwick on Thursday announced that it purchased Orchid Medical, a provider of ancillary medical management solutions for the workers’ compensation industry. Sedgwick said the deal is an investment in the continued growth of its ancillary care network, which aims to ensure injured workers receive prompt service for durable medical equipment, transportation, translation, home health, diagnostic imaging and other services. The company didn’t disclose the terms of the deal. "This acquisition enables us to provide employers with a single point of service for a broad range of anc... Read More

NATL. - S&P: Rate Cuts Outpace Increases in 1st Quarter

05/20/2022 | 0

Workers’ compensation rate reductions in the first three months of 2022 more than offset rate increases, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis of filings submitted with state insurance regulators. Regulators in South Carolina approved a rate cut for 2022 that S&P projects will reduce written premium in the state by $52.7 million. Georgia also reduced rates by an amount expected to lower premiums by $67 million. S&P Global Market Intelligence reports that a rate cut in Colorado could lead to a $105 million reduction in written premiums. At the same time, S&... Read More

Sponsored Content

Press - Albert & Mackenzie Recognized by Great Place to Work on Certification Nation Day

05/17/2022 | 0

Agoura Hills, CA - Albert & Mackenzie is honored to have earned the Great Place to Work® Certification™ for the second year in a row. The prestigious certification is based entirely on real and anonymous feedback from employees and their experience working at Albert & Mackenzie. Today, we celebrate the firm's performance in cultivating a workplace experience where employees can thrive and excel. "We are so very proud of our talented employees and are grateful to be recognized by Great Place to Work," expressed Firm Managing Partner, Bruce Albert.... Read More

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TX - DWC Seeks Comments on Proposed Wage Statement Forms

05/20/2022 | 0

The Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation is seeking public comments on three proposed new forms relating to wage statements. Proposed DWC Form-003, “Employer’s Wage Statement,” is necessary to allow employers a way to provide carriers with wage information so they can calculate average weekly earnings and indemnity benefits, the division said. The proposed DWC Form-003ME, “Employee’s Multiple Employment Wage Statement," is necessary so injured workers can submit wage information from other employers. Finally, proposed DWC Form-003SD, “Employ... Read More

NV - WCS Opens Registration for Training Courses

05/20/2022 | 0

The Nevada Workers’ Compensation Section opened registration for free online training classes that will be held throughout the rest of the year. The educational programs will cover topics ranging from claims processing to fee schedules and billing. The first program June 7 will address the process for using a D-35 form to request a rotating physician or chiropractor. On June 29 and again on Oct. 12, the WCS is holding training on the C-4 claims process. Another course on June 29 that will also be repeated Oct. 12 covers cover medical billing. A medical fee schedule course is schedul... Read More

TX - Carrier Can Collect Full Amount of Worker's Malpractice Settlement, Minus Fees, Expenses

05/19/2022 | 0

A Texas appellate court ruled that an insurance carrier was entitled to the entire amount of an injured worker’s malpractice settlement, less a payment of fees and expenses to the worker’s attorney. Corby W. Stevenson suffered a workplace injury in June 2013 that was exacerbated by negligent medical treatment he received in December 2013. Texas Mutual Insurance Co. was the workers' compensation carrier for Stevenson's employer and paid benefits to him after his injury. In January 2015, Stevenson sued his health care providers for negligence. Texas Mutual then s... Read More

NC - Worker Gets Award for Knee Operation, Weight-Loss Surgery

05/19/2022 | 0

The North Carolina Court of Appeals upheld a finding that a child care provider’s need for knee surgery was related to a prior work accident, as was her need for bariatric surgery. Case: Kluttz-Ellison v. Noah’s Playloft Preschool, No. COA21-356, 05/03/2022, published. Facts and procedural history: Robin Kluttz-Ellison is the owner and director of Noah's Playloft Preschool Inc. In 2010, she underwent a total right knee replacement performed by Dr. William Furr. Three years later, Kluttz-Ellison sustained injuries after falling off a ladder while changing a lightbulb at the ... Read More

KS - Court Tosses Construction Subcontractor's Claim for Indemnification

05/19/2022 | 0

The Kansas Court of Appeals tossed a construction subcontractor’s claim for indemnification from the employer of a worker who had been injured while using the subcontractor’s aerial lift. Case: Great Plains Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc. v. K Building Specialties Inc., No. 124,170, 04/29/2022, published. Facts: In July 2014, Great Plains Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc. and K Building Specialties Inc. were subcontractors working on a construction project at the John Deere Regional Facility in Olathe, Kansas. Great Plains and K Building had separate contracts with The Weitz Co... Read More

NY - Court Rejects Carrier's Challenge to Settlement Order

05/19/2022 | 0

A New York appellate court threw out an insurance carrier’s challenge to a decision by the Workers’ Compensation Board directing it to attempt to reach a mutual agreement with a worker on a modification to a settlement agreement. Case: Matter of Perez v. Bed, Bath & Beyond, No. 533820, 04/21/2022, published. Facts and procedural history: Jose Perez has an established claim for work-related injuries to his left ankle and knee and exacerbation of a preexisting back condition, stemming from a 2012 accident. In 2019, Perez signed an agreement providing for the payment of $300,00... Read More

NY - Liability for Worker's Benefits Properly Apportioned Between Direct, Special Employers

05/19/2022 | 0

A New York appellate court upheld the apportionment of liability for a temporary worker’s claim between his direct employer and his special employer. Case: Abad v. Vanety’s Services LLC, No. 532061, 04/21/2022, published. Facts: ACME Furniture Store needed a warehouse attendant and contacted Vanety's Service LLC, a staffing agency, for help. Vanety sent Juan Abad to fill the ACME position. While working at ACME, Abad fell off a ladder and filed a claim for workers' compensation benefits. Procedural history: Both Vanety and ACME were placed on notice of the cla... Read More