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VT - State Lacks Jurisdiction Over Worker's Injury Claim

07/23/2024 | 0

The Vermont Supreme Court upheld the summary dismissal of a worker’s claim for benefits for an out-of-state injury. Ian Burnett worked for Home Improvement Co. of Vermont. HIC is a Vermont corporation with its principal place of business in New Hampshire. HIC also owned a property in Bellows Falls, Vermont, that has been approved for conversion into residential apartments. Burnett is a New Hampshire resident and was hired at HIC’s New Hampshire office. His job duties involved traveling between the New Hampshire facility and various jobsites, for which he ... Read More

WY - High Court Denies Additional Treatment, Benefits for Injured Field Engineer

07/23/2024 | 0

The Wyoming Supreme Court upheld the denial of additional treatment and benefits to a field engineer for her left foot and ankle complaints. Case: Zheng v. Wyoming, No. S-23-0277, 07/19/2024, published. Facts and procedural history: Ming Zheng worked for Halliburton Energy Services as a drilling field engineer. In May 2019, she was attempting to use a pipe wrench to disassemble a tool string by stomping on the wrench with her foot. When this didn’t work, her supervisor told her to jump on the wrench with both feet. Zheng complied, but her body weight was insufficient to force th... Read More

NATL. - Railway Worker Loses Challenge to Dismissal of Retaliation Claim

07/23/2024 | 0

The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals denied review of a railway worker’s challenge to the dismissal of his claim he had been terminated in retaliation for his successful pursuit of a Federal Employers Liability Act claim against his former employer. Case: Carter v. Department of Labor (BNSF Railway Co.), No. 22-3218, 07/18/2024, published. Facts: Clyde Carter Jr. applied for a position with BNSF Railway Co. in 2005. The application included a medical questionnaire in which Carter indicated that he had not missed more than two days of work due to illness, injury, hospitalizat... Read More

OH - Widow Timely Files Asbestos-Related Occupational Disease Claim

07/23/2024 | 0

The Ohio Court of Appeals upheld a determination that a widow timely filed her claim for benefits for a worker’s death from an occupational disease caused by his asbestos exposure and that she presented sufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict in her favor. Case: Hunter v. Canton Drop Forge Inc., No. 2023CA00154, 07/18/2024, published. Facts: Stephen Hunter worked for Canton Drop Forge Inc. He died in 2018. According to a co-worker, asbestos was pervasive throughout the plant. The co-worker testified that furnaces utilizing bricks containing asbestos were near where h... Read More

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Press - CRMBC Achieves Remarkable 71.8% Revenue Growth with Strategic Leadership and Tailored Solutions

07/11/2024 | 0

Fresno, CA 07/11/2024 - The California Restaurant Mutual Benefit Corporation (CRMBC), a leading workers compensation provider for the California restaurant industry, today announced a 71.8% increase in annualized revenue over the past year, rising from $10 million to $17.2 million. This significant growth highlights CRMBC's commitment to providing exceptional workers' compensation solutions to the restaurant industry. This growth is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our entire team and the commitment from our board of trustees. We are proud to have reached this mileston... Read More

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Industry Insights

TN - Lehman: Oral Arguments, Conflicting Experts and Significant Reversal

By Kaitlynn Lehman
07/23/2024 | 0

Writing to you “From the Bench,” my name is Kaitlynn Lehman, and I’ve just finished my first year of law school at Belmont University. The Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has taken me under its wing as an intern to show me the ins and outs of the practice of law beyond the classroom. What you’re about to read is a recap of the second-ever oral argument to take place at the Bureau’s Educational Conference, the decision and its ramifications. Oral arguments aren’t for the faint of heart Each side is granted a limited amount of time ... Read More

WI - OSHA Fines Waste Management Company $367,410

07/23/2024 | 0

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined a Wisconsin waste management company $367,410 for violations identified during the investigation of a workplace injury. OSHA said a worker at John’s Disposal Services, which does business as John’s Recycling, was injured in January 2024 when a jacket sleeve was pulled into an engine being serviced. The agency said its inspectors determined that the employer failed to ensure energy control procedures were in place before the worker started working on the vehicle. OSHA also opened two follow-up inspections to ver... Read More

DE - Report: Former Postal Worker Sentenced to Probation for Fraud

07/23/2024 | 0

A former U.S. Postal Service worker in Delaware was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay nearly $94,000 in restitution for defrauding the federal workers’ compensation program, according to the Associated Press. Lakisha Hines, 46, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud in March. Federal prosecutors reportedly said the sentence will allow Hines to continue working and try to satisfy the restitution order. However, the Associated Press reported that federal prosecutors also acknowledged that Hines might never be able to repay the benefits she stole. The AP reports that... Read More

NATL. - DOL Says Injunction Protects Against Retaliation

07/23/2024 | 0

The U.S. Department of Labor said a federal court in Washington state issued an injunction preventing the U.S. Postal Service from retaliation against employees. The department said the injunction was part of a consent judgment from the U.S. District Court for Western Washington. A copy of the judgment was not available from the department or through the court’s website. The department said that after three investigations, it concluded that the Postal Service fired three probationary workers after they reported workplace injuries. The department sued, alleging the firings violated anti... Read More

CA - Worker Loses Evidentiary Challenge to Fraud Convictions

07/22/2024 | 0

A California appellate court upheld an injured worker’s fraud convictions. Waliullah Nazari fell from a ladder while working in January 2019 and was knocked unconscious. Nazari’s employer had workers’ compensation coverage with Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., which paid him benefits totaling $99,656.96 between January and July 2019. Nazari told an orthopedic surgeon that he needed a walker to stand and could not walk without using one, but a private investigator working for Liberty Mutual filmed Nazari walking unassisted and with a normal gait. The investigator also filmed Na... Read More

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Press - MTI America Welcomes Michael Anderson as Vice President of Business Development

07/17/2024 | 0

Pompano Beach, FL - July 17, 2024  - MTI America, a leading workers' compensation managed care provider, today announced the appointment of Michael Anderson as Vice President of Business Development. Anderson brings a wealth of experience and industry knowledge to MTI America, further strengthening the company's position in the workers' compensation market. "We are thrilled to welcome Michael to the MTI America team," said Claudia Rial, VP of Sales & Client Relations at MTI America. "His extensive experience in risk management and claims spanning multiple p... Read More

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SC - No Benefits for Worker Injured in Fall From Ladder

07/22/2024 | 0

The South Carolina Court of Appeals upheld the denial of benefits to a worker who was injured when she ignored her employer’s instruction to not use a ladder. Case: Bridges v. Harbour Town Surf Shop LLC, No. 2022-000600, 07/17/2024, unpublished. Facts: Naomi Lynn Bridges worked for Harbour Town Surf Shop LLC. She suffered injuries in a fall from a ladder at work. Procedural history: The Workers' Compensation Commission’s Appellate Panel found that Bridges’ injuries were not compensable. The panel found that Bridges had a prior injury and that her employer had spec... Read More

PA - Court Upholds Modification of Worker's Benefits for Specific Loss

07/22/2024 | 0

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania upheld the modification of an injured worker’s benefits from wage loss to a specific loss based on the partial amputation of a toe. Case: Perkins v. Consolidated Pennsylvania Coal Co., No. 305 C.D. 2023, 07/17/2024, unpublished. Facts: Timothy J. Perkins worked for Consolidated Pennsylvania Coal Co. as a miner. He suffered a crush injury to his foot in February 2018, and Consolidated accepted liability. Doctors amputated Perkins’ third and fourth toes and part of his second toe. In October 2020, Perkins underwent an independent medica... Read More

TN - Carrier Not Entitled to Summary Judgment on Claim for Offset

07/22/2024 | 0

The Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled that an automobile insurance provider was not entitled to summary judgment to offset its liability to an insured. Case: Jones v. Craddock, No. M2023-01034-COA-R3-CV, 07/17/2024, published. Facts and procedural history: Moye Jones and Cathleen Craddock were involved in an auto accident, and Jones suffered injuries. Jones had automobile coverage with Erie Insurance Exchange, and his policy provided uninsured motorist coverage of $50,000. Jones sought payment. Erie objected, contending that the accident occurred while Jones was in the course and scope... Read More

NATL. - Comp Agencies Report Disruptions From Tech Outage

07/22/2024 | 0

The software update that grounded airplanes and disrupted hospitals worldwide Friday also wreaked havoc on workers’ compensation regulators in some states. Officials from Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming all announced that the CrowdStrike outage negatively affected operations Friday. The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board said it had restored most services Friday afternoon. “Users may still experience lingering issues with some applications,” the WCB said. “Prior authoriz... Read More

PA - Bill Would Limit Employment Protections for Medical Cannabis Users

07/22/2024 | 0

Pennsylvania employers would be allowed to make adverse employment decisions against employees and job applicants who legally use medical cannabis, under recently introduced legislation. Senate Bill 1290, introduced Wednesday by Sen. Patrick J. Stefano, R-Fayette, would repeal statutory language authorizing employers to prohibit medical cannabis patients from performing specific job duties under the influence and replace it with more permissive language relating to adverse actions against those in safety-sensitive positions. The bill would add language allowing employers to require... Read More

CA - San Bernardino Office Closes for 6-8 Weeks to Fix AC

07/22/2024 | 0

The California Division of Workers’ Compensation announced that its San Bernardino district office will be closed for six to eight weeks due to excessive heat and needed repairs to an inoperable air conditioning system. Anyone with a trial scheduled for the San Bernardino office should call the assigned judge’s conference line unless instructed otherwise, the division said. Regular status updates during the closure will be posted to the San Bernardino district office webpage. The DWC encourages all parties to file documents electronically or through the mail. Document... Read More

DE - Governor Signs Bill Allowing Commissioner to Adopt Criteria for Safety Program Discount

07/22/2024 | 0

Delaware Gov. John Carney signed a bill allowing the insurance commissioner to adopt criteria for employers to qualify for a workplace safety program that aims to provide lower workers’ compensation premiums. Currently, employers must pay $3,161 or more in annual workers’ compensation premiums to qualify for the workplace safety program. The program provides discounts of up to 19% for businesses that provide and maintain safe workplaces. Carney on Wednesday signed Senate Bill 306, extending the discount to employers that qualify for the program under parameters set by the co... Read More