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IL - Court: Fatal Heart Attack Compensable, Worker's Adult Son Qualifies as Beneficiary

07/24/2024 | 0

An Illinois appeals court overturned the denial of death benefits to a deceased worker’s adult son, finding that the father's fatal heart attack was compensable and that the son was an eligible survivor. Richard Cronk suffered a fatal heart attack in December 2006 while working as a construction manager for Kimball Hill Homes. The coroner’s report indicated that Cronk had complained of difficulty breathing while shoveling snow at a building site. Co-workers summoned paramedics, who observed Cronk alert and oriented, sitting in his truck. Cronk then went into cardiac arre... Read More

TN - Panel Rejects Constitutional Challenges to Statutory Construction, Definition of 'Injury'

07/24/2024 | 0

The Supreme Court of Tennessee’s Special Workers’ Compensation Appeals Panel rejected a constitutional challenge to the statutory construction requirements for the state Workers’ Compensation Law and the statutory definition of an injury. Case: Worrell v. Obion County School District, No. W2023-01082-SC-R3-WC, 07/19/2024, published. Facts and procedural history: Albert Worrell worked for the Obion County School District. He injured his shoulder at work in October 2019. Dr. David Pearce determined that Worrell had a rotator cuff tear and performed corrective surgery in... Read More

AZ - ALJ Abuses Discretion in Denying Worker's Request for Relief

07/24/2024 | 0

The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that an administrative law judge committed an abuse of discretion in denying a worker’s request for relief from the dismissal of her hearing due to her failure to appear. Case: Gray v. Industrial Commission, No. 1 CA-IC 23-0010, 07/18/2024, published. Facts: Shirley Gray was a dining room manager at an assisted living facility. She tripped and fell at work in October 2021. A doctor noted that Gray had contusions, bruising and edema on both knees, but X-rays showed that her knees were structurally normal. Procedural history: Gray filed a workers&rsqu... Read More

PA - Injured Worker May Not Set Aside Settlement With Employer

07/24/2024 | 0

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ruled that a worker was not entitled to set aside the workers’ compensation settlement she reached with her employer. Case: Clarius v. Rite Aid Corp. (WCAB), No. 897 C.D. 2023, 07/19/2024, unpublished. Facts and procedural history: Deborah J. Clarius worked for Rite Aid Corp. She filed a workers’ compensation claim, which she settled with the assistance of counsel. A workers’ compensation judge signed off on the deal in February 2020. In September 2022, Clarius filed a petition alleging that medical bills for a 2018 left knee inj... Read More

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Press - Coalition of Professional Photocopiers Announces New Board Leadership

07/17/2024 | 0

SACRAMENTO, CA - The Coalition of Professional Photocopiers (CPP) has released the Board's election results for this term's President, Vice President and Secretary positions.     At its July meeting, the Board elected Mike Callan, President of Republic Document Management as President of the Coalition.  Callan brings 29 years of experience working in the industry.  Under his leadership, Republic has spec... 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

CA - Commissioner Cites Concern Over Access to Benefits in Request for Silicosis Claim Study

07/24/2024 | 0

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara said he is concerned that a growing number of workers are developing silicosis on the job but struggling to get workers’ compensation benefits for the incurable lung disease. The commissioner in a July 17 letter asked the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau to analyze silicosis claims from the past 10 years. "There is a growing concern that cases of this devastating illness are increasing, yet these workers may face challenges in obtaining the workers’ compensation benefits to which they are entitled," ... Read More

NATL. - OSHA: Amazon Has Paid Only a Third of Penalties Initially Assessed

07/24/2024 | 0

Over a seven-year period, Amazon.com Inc. was assessed $329,981 in penalties by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, of which the company paid only $109,864, according to an agency spokeswoman. “In most cases, a settlement agreement was reached in which Amazon agreed to comply with a cited standard or regulation or to eliminate a recognized hazard identified by OSHA during an inspection,” a spokeswoman wrote in an email to Business Insurance regarding penalties assessed and paid from 2017 to 2023. Companies have 15 business days to contest OSHA citations a... Read More

FL - DWC Posts Rulemaking Notice for Fee Schedule, Related Documents

07/24/2024 | 0

The Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation posted a notice of development of rulemaking to implement the most recent edition of its health care provider fee schedule and related documents. The DWC said the proposed rules would adopt the 2024 Florida Workers’ Compensation Health Care Provider Reimbursement Manual, as well as 2024 Current Procedural Terminology codes, 2024 dental procedure codes, the latest ICD-10 codes and the 2024 Relative Value Guide for anesthesia. The division said it would consider holding a rule development workshop if requested in writing. The rulemakin... Read More

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

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Press - Albert and Mackenzie Announces Promotion of New Managing Partners

07/15/2024 | 0

Agoura Hills, CA Albert and Mackenzie, a leader in California's workers compensation defense industry, proudly announces the promotion of three Managing Attorneys to Managing Partners. Drew Goorabian, Sara Grumley, and Harmony Kessler have been appointed for their exceptional leadership, expertise, and unwavering commitment to clients. Bruce Albert, Firm Managing Partner, expresses, "We are thrilled to welcome Drew, Sara, and Harmony to their new roles as Managing Partners. Their continued pursuit of excellence and dedication to our clients exemplify the core values we uphold at Albert... Read More

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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

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