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OH - Court Denies Relief to Worker Who Missed Deadline to Challenge Decision

09/24/2021 | 0

The act of hiring an attorney was sufficient evidence to find that the health of an injured worker did not preclude him from comprehending the importance of pending matters, an Ohio appellate court said in holding that a man who missed the deadline to challenge a determination of the extent of his compensable injuries was not entitled to relief. The appellate court also said Martin Hernandez’s hospitalizations did not appear to impact his ability to receive or understand a Bureau of Workers’ Compensation staff hearing officer’s order. “Notwithstanding the failure of t... Read More

CA - Worker Fails to Assert Viable Tort Claims

09/24/2021 | 0

A California appellate court upheld the dismissal of a worker’s negligence and premises liability claims for injuries that happened while flushing an oil well pipeline. Case: Silva v. Warren Resources of California, No. B302669, 09/22/2021, unpublished. Facts: Alejandro Silva worked for Warren E&P Inc. He suffered injuries in April 2018 when flushing an abandoned pipeline at an oil well site in Wilmington. Warren E&P provided workers’ compensation insurance coverage for its employees, and Silva received benefits. Warren E&P and Warren Resources of California Inc... Read More

WV - Injured Worker Can't Expand Claim to Add Psychiatric Conditions

09/24/2021 | 0

The West Virginia Supreme Court unanimously upheld the denial of a worker’s request to expand his claim to include his diagnoses for various mental health conditions, given evidence of his symptom fabrication and magnification. Case: T.E.C. v. M&G Polymerse USA LLC, No. 20-0388, 9/22/2021, published. Facts: An employee of M&G Polymerse USA LLC fell from a buggy and pinned his leg while at work on Jan. 14, 2015. The West Virginia Supreme Court elected to identify the worker by his initials, T.E.C., due to the sensitive nature of the medical evidence developed in his case. ... Read More

WA - Interpreter Service Owner Pleads Guilty to Submitting Phony Bills

09/24/2021 | 0

The owner of two interpreting businesses accused of billing for appointments that never occurred has pleaded guilty, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries said. Seattle resident Carla C. Moreno, 33, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to third-degree theft, a gross misdemeanor, in Franklin County Superior Court, L&I announced in a news release. As part of her sentence, Moreno also repaid L&I more than $43,000 for overbilling the department for interpreter services in the Tri-Cities area, according to the news release. A judge sentenced Moreno to 10 days in jail and 20 da... Read More

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Press - Brown & Brown Services Names Jerilyn Kelly as New SVP

08/31/2021 | 0

Jerilyn Kelly, SVP, Brown & Brown Services segmentThe Services segment of Brown & Brown, Inc. has tapped Jerilyn Kelly as senior vice president of business development.  Brown & Brown's Services segment is a collection of five third-party claims and service companies coast-to-coast, managing claims for large and small carriers plus self-insured entities. In her new role, Kelly leads customer engagement, bus... Read More

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Industry Insights

NATL. - Paduda: Comments on Conduent

By Joe Paduda
09/24/2021 | 0

As we march through the list of big, bigger and likely gonna-be-biggest workers' comp services entities, we are now at the single service providers. This won’t take much time. Conduent is the leader in market share in workers’ comp bill review applications, followed by Mitchell and Medata. The company claims 50% market share, which sounds about right, although the claimed “savings” of $16 billion is just nonsense (as it likely reflects reductions below billed charges, which we all know are not “savings”). Bac... Read More

MN - Minneapolis Panel OKs More Comp Settlements for First Responders Who Quit After Floyd Death

09/24/2021 | 0

A Minneapolis city committee has approved workers’ compensation settlements for first responders who quit their jobs after reporting mental health issues stemming from civil unrest in the wake of the George Floyd murder last year, according to news station Fox 9. The City Council’s Policy and Government Oversight Committee approved almost two-dozen claims, which total approximately $3.5 million in payouts, Fox 9 reported. The settlements await the final approval of the Minneapolis City Council, which meets Friday. According to Fox 9, hundreds of first responders h... Read More

CA - Prop. 22 Supporters Appeal Judge's Ruling That Declared Law Unconstitutional

09/24/2021 | 0

Proponents of a law that exempts app-based driving companies from California’s worker classification statutes have appealed a judge’s ruling that found the law unconstitutional, according to a report from Bloomberg Law. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch last month handed down an emergency order declaring Proposition 22 invalid because he said it usurps legislators’ constitutional authority to create workers’ comp statutes. The Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Coalition, the main group supporting Prop. 22, is challenging ... Read More

CA - DWC Withdraws Newsline Announcing 2022 TD Rates

09/24/2021 | 0

The California Division of Workers’ Compensation on Thursday withdrew a previous statement announcing no change in minimum and maximum temporary total disability rates for 2022. Earlier in September, the division announced that TTD rates would be unchanged in 2022 because of a decrease in the state’s average weekly wage over the 12-month period ending March 31. On Thursday, the division said the wage data was not final. “The decision to withdraw the Sept. 15 Newsline is based on finding that the state average weekly wage data posted by the U.S. Department of Labor, data whi... Read More

OK - State WCC Adds New Commissioner

09/24/2021 | 0

The Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission announced that Scott Biggs has been named its newest commissioner, the agency said in a news release. Biggs will join the commission after working as the state executive director for the Farm Service Agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the WCC said. He previously served as a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, where much of his work focused on agriculture and victims’ issues.  WCC said Biggs was the leading voice for State Question 794, which placed victims’ rights in the Oklahoma State Const... Read More

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Press - Centre for Neuro Skills Signs Agreement With Political Subdivision Workers' Compensation Alliance Covering More Than 500,000 Texas Public Entities' Employees

08/24/2021 | 0

Austin, TX. (August 24, 2021) - The Texas Brain Injury Alliance reports that 144,000 Texans sustain a traumatic brain injury each year - one every 4 minutes. Centre for Neuro Skills (CNS), a premier provider of treatment for traumatic and acquired brain injury, announced today it is now a participating provider in the Political Subdivision Workers Compensation Alliances (PSWCA) direct contracting program. Five risk pools that offer workers' compensation coverage and claims services to public entities in Texas, representing more than 3,000 public employers and 500,000 employees, form... Read More

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NATL. - Medical Marijuana Treatments for Injured Workers Likely to Grow, Safety Experts Say

By Mark Powell (Reporter)
09/23/2021 | 0

Cannabis treatment for work-related ailments may replace unsuccessful traditional approaches and increase as a growing number of workers ask courts and public agencies to reimburse for medical marijuana use, according to a recently published report. And if the federal government ever decides to decriminalize the drug, use of medical marijuana to treat patients will likely “accelerate” in jurisdictions that view cannabis as a “reasonable and necessary treatment for difficult-to-manage, work-related health conditions,” the report states. “Anticipating th... Read More

KS - Split Court Takes Blame for Complicating Payment Dispute, Dismisses Appeal

09/23/2021 | 0

In a long-running and procedurally convoluted case involving a dispute over who should bear the cost for the preliminary medical benefits paid to a worker, the Kansas Court of Appeals issued a mea culpa for complicating matters by issuing an improper remand order and dismissed the matter. Case: Travelers Casualty Insurance v. Karns, No. 121,344, 09/17/2021, published. Facts and procedural history: Tamera Barker suffered on-the-job injuries in 2005 while working for an employer with workers’ compensation coverage by the OneBeacon American Insurance Co. Barker suffered injuries aga... Read More

MO - Truck Driver Not Entitled to PTD Benefits From 2nd Injury Fund

09/23/2021 | 0

The Missouri Court of Appeals upheld a denial of permanent total disability benefits from the Second Injury Fund to a truck driver. Case: Anttila v. Treasurer, No. SD36826, 09/17/2021, published. Facts and procedural history: Arthur Anttila worked for Dyno Nobel Inc. as an over-the-road truck driver. Before he began working for Dyno in 2011, Anttila worked for Freymiller and Jevic Transportation. Anttila injured his left shoulder and left leg in 1994 while working for Freymiller in Illinois and made a full recovery from these injuries. They never caused him to miss work, slow down or t... Read More

MT - Nurse Case Manager Gets Benefits for Back Condition Linked to Accident

09/23/2021 | 0

The Montana Workers’ Compensation Court ruled that a nurse case manager was entitled to benefits for a back condition linked to a car accident. Case: Krezelak v. Indemnity Insurance Co. of North America, No. 2020-4954, 09/16/2021, published.   Facts: Candida Krezelak worked as a nurse. She suffered a low back strain in September 2009 while trying to lift a patient. A magnetic resonance imaging scan taken around this time showed L4-5 degenerative disc disease with mild desiccation and no definite disc herniation, and some neuroforaminal narrowing at L5. Krezelak underwent physical... Read More

NATL. - Paradigm Partners With Medway Air Ambulance as In-Network Provider

09/23/2021 | 0

Specialty care management firm Paradigm announced that it renewed its contract with Medway Air Ambulance to serve as an in-network air medical transport provider. Paradigm said in a statement that the contract will continue its 15-year relationship with Medway to fly injured workers for specialty or rehabilitative care at hospitals and facilities throughout the country. Medway's contracted in-network status accelerates the flight coordination process, allowing the Medway team to help more Paradigm patients. Over the last year, Medway has grown substantially to accommodate the increa... Read More

NATL. - Sedgwick Acquires Comp Provider Managed Care Advisors

09/23/2021 | 0

Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. on Wednesday announced that it has acquired Managed Care Advisors Inc., a Bethesda, Maryland-based government contracting firm and leading provider of workers' compensation and specialty health plan products, as well as services to the federal government. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. MCA’s expertise includes comprehensive, outsourced federal workers' compensation case and claims management solutions, anchored by the full functionality of its technology platform, according to a statement. Sedgwick said MCA’s fede... Read More

NATL. - Biden Administration Announces Measures to Protect Workers From Heat

09/23/2021 | 0

The administration of President Joe Biden on Monday announced enhanced and expanded measures by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to combat hazards associated with extreme heat exposure faced by workers indoors and outdoors. OSHA is implementing a national emphasis program on heat-related hazards and launching a rulemaking process in October to develop a workplace heat standard to provide employers with guidance. In addition, the agency is forming a national advisory group to provide better understanding of challenges and to identify and share best practices to protect worker... Read More