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AR - Nursing Assistant Gets Change of Physician, Additional Treatment, 7% Impairment Rating

12/08/2021 | 0

The Arkansas Court of Appeals ruled that an injured nursing assistant was entitled to a change of physician, additional medical treatment and a 7% impairment rating. Chelsea Otis worked for the North Hills Surgery Center as a certified nursing assistant. She injured her back in December 2015 while prepping a patient for surgery. Otis reported the injury right away, and North Hills accepted it as compensable. Otis initially saw Dr. Konstantin Berestnev, an occupational medicine specialist. After a magnetic resonance imaging scan revealed a broad-based disc bulge at L4-5, Berestnev refer... Read More

OR - Worker Must Give Timely Notice of Injury, Not Notice of Filing Comp Claim

12/08/2021 | 0

The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that a worker seeking compensation for an injury must give her employer notice of the accident within one year of its occurrence, but she need not provide formal notice of a claim within that period. Case: In the Matter of the Compensation of Ansarinezhad, Nos. 1702232 and A172330, 12/01/2021, published. Facts: Azam Ansarinezhad worked for the DoubleTree Hotel as a housekeeper. She injured her left shoulder at work in January 2016. About a week later, Ansarinezhad verbally informed her employer of the injury, and another worker was assigned to help her with... Read More

NY - Court Dismisses Labor Law Claim by Worker Injured by Falling Pallet Rack

12/08/2021 | 0

A New York appellate court upheld the dismissal of a worker’s Labor Law and negligence claims for his injuries from when parts of a shelving system fell on him. Case: Abreu v. Frocione Properties LLC, No. 832 CA 20-01339, 11/19/2021, published. Facts: Agapito Abreu suffered injuries while working on the construction of a food distribution warehouse. Abreu and a co-worker were installing a pallet rack shelving system when unassembled segments tipped over onto his legs. Procedural history: Abreu filed suit against multiple defendants, asserting claims for negligence and violation of th... Read More

NY - Ironworker Gets Summary Judgment on Labor Law Claim for Fall

12/08/2021 | 0

A New York appellate court upheld a grant of summary judgment on an iron worker’s Labor Law claim for his fall from a retaining wall he was using as a walkway. Case: Hovorka v. Applied Products Co. Inc., No. 24708/15E, 11/18/2021, published. Facts and procedural history: Shane Hovorka is an ironworker. He fell while walking along an elevated retaining wall to access a job site. He filed suit against Applied Products Co. Inc. for a violation of Labor Law Section 240(1), which imposes absolute liability on property owners, general contractors or their agents for failing to provide ... Read More

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Press - Albert & Mackenzie Supports the Safe Place for Youth's First Annual Youth Summit

10/22/2021 | 0

Los Angeles, CA - Albert & Mackenzie is proud to support the Safe Place for Youth's (SPY) first ever virtual youth summit, "A Season of Change: Cultivating Transformative Wellness". SPY is a nonprofit organization focused on empowering homeless adolescence in Los Angeles to prosper by providing lasting, community-driven solutions that address racial and social inequity. In partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and Elevate, SPY will be hosting the virtual youth summit on October 23, 2021, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. PST. This year'... Read More

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CA - Kamin: Valley Fever On the Rise, but Masks Could Help

By John P. Kamin
12/08/2021 | 0

California may be seeing a rise in valley fever cases, but employers could use a preventative care idea from the COVID-19 pandemic to help prevent occupational exposures to the valley fever fungi. Wired Magazine had this fascinating write-up about how climate change is probably playing a role in the spread of valley fever. I highly recommend you read it. (Note: The article originally appeared on a website called Grist.) In summary, the article explores the idea that hotter and dryer weather is causing valley fever to spread to new geographic areas. In order to understand w... Read More

NM - 1 Highway Worker Killed, 2 Injured in Work Zone Crash

12/08/2021 | 0

New Mexico authorities say a state Department of Transportation employee was killed in a work zone crash Monday on Highway 285 north of Artesia, according to an Albuquerque NBC affiliate. Two other highway workers were injured in the accident. Mittie Runyan, 58, and her maintenance crew were placing reflectors on a newly resurfaced stretch of road when the crash happened. According to state police, Runyan was driving an NMDOT truck with safety lights flashing when her vehicle was struck from behind by a commercial vehicle. She was flown to a hospital in Lubbock, Texas, where she w... Read More

RI - Judicial Panel Selects 5 for Workers' Compensation Court Vacancy

12/08/2021 | 0

Rhode Island's Judicial Nominating Commission has named five attorneys to potentially fill a vacancy on the state Workers’ Compensation Court, the Providence Journal reports. The panel that helps vet state judges sent the names of Joelle M. Hays, Hagop S. Jawharjian, Jeffrey Liptrot, Moira E. Reynolds and Michael A. St. Pierre to Gov. Daniel McKee for consideration for the seat left vacant by the retirement of Judge George T. Salem Jr. Hays is a partner in the Morrison Mahoney LLP firm and concentrates on workers’ compensation law. She&n... Read More

NATL. - Sedgwick Buys Seattle-Based Legal Administrator

12/08/2021 | 0

Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. said Tuesday it has acquired JND Legal Administration, a legal management and administration services provider. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. JND is a major U.S. provider of full-service class-action administration, mass tort and lien resolution, eDiscovery, government redress and legal noticing services, the statement said. Headquartered in Seattle, JND has more than 250 employees, with offices in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York and Washington, D.C. Jim Ryan, Sedgwick chief operating officer, Americas, said JND has a “stella... Read More

SC - Lawmakers Introduce Comp Bill to Cover Adverse Vaccine Reactions

12/08/2021 | 0

Lawmakers in South Carolina are considering a bill that would amend the state workers' compensation code to cover adverse reactions to employer-mandated COVID-19 vaccinations. Introduced Monday, S.B. 902 would force insurers and employers to cover “all adverse health conditions or death arising as a result of receiving a COVID-19 vaccination mandated by an employer or the local, state or federal government.” The bill was referred to the Committee on Judiciary and would take effect immediately upon the governor’s approval. Business Insurance is a sister publication... Read More

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Press - Foundation AI Fuels Growth for Acumen Law LLP Delivers 95% Reduction in Time Required to Process Inbound Documents

12/06/2021 | 0

TUSTIN, CA  Foundation AI - a leading provider of intelligent document processing software for workers' compensation litigation and defense firms, announced another successful integration and deployment of their Foundation Extract Filer platform for Acumen Law LLP (http://acumenllp.com/). The Foundation AI Extract Filer platform uses AI to process inbound workers' compensation documents - like physical mail, email, faxes, and large files directly into any practice management system - faster, cheaper, and more accurately than manual data-entry by expensive in-house or outsourced m... Read More

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MO - Legislators Pre-File Bill Prohibiting Vaccine Mandates

12/08/2021 | 0

Lawmakers in Missouri are set to consider legislation that would prohibit employers from mandating that their workers receive the COVID-19 vaccine under certain conditions. S.B. 693, pre-filed on Wednesday, states that it “shall be unlawful for an employer to require an employee to receive COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment without permitting the employee to be exempted from such vaccination requirements because of the employee's religious or philosophical beliefs, medical condition, including pregnancy or future pregnancies, or previous exposure to and reco... Read More

MO - No PTD Benefits for Seasonal Employee

12/07/2021 | 0

The Missouri Court of Appeals ruled that a seasonal employee for a campground and river outfitter who worked nine-hour days, seven days a week, was not entitled to permanent total disability benefits from the Second Injury Fund. James Chambers dropped out of high school and began working as a laborer. He later became a commercial truck and bus driver. During this time, he had two surgeries on his spine and ongoing back pain for which he was prescribed medication. In January 2008, Chambers was released without restrictions but with a recommendation that he pursue sedentary work rath... Read More

OR - Worker Fails to Establish Compensability of Mental Disorder From Job Stress

12/07/2021 | 0

The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that a worker failed to introduce sufficient evidence to establish the compensability of her mental disorder claim. Case: In the Matter of the Compensation of King, Nos. 1704559 and A173989, 12/01/2021, published. Facts: Audrey King worked for UST Global as a software validation engineer. In April 2017, UST assigned King to work on a project for Intel that involved testing computer hardware at Intel's work site. The work was fast-paced, hectic, chaotic and stressful. UST employees were divided into teams, with each team responsible for a group of c... Read More

NY - Worker Gets Partial Summary Judgment for Fall Injuries

12/07/2021 | 0

A New York appellate court ruled that a worker was entitled to summary judgment as to liability on his Labor Law claim for his fall from an unsecured plank used as a scaffold. Case: DaSilva v. Toll First Ave. LLC, No. 452797/15, 11/18/2021, published. Facts: Marcos DaSilva suffered injuries when he fell off an unsecured wooden plank while constructing a hollow rectangular structure that would serve as the framework for concrete columns. According to DaSilva, his co-workers had placed unsecured wooden planks across the beams of the structure to allow him to cross and place heads on the tops ... Read More

NY - Board Properly Denies Review of Application Lacking Proof of Service

12/07/2021 | 0

A New York appellate court ruled that the Workers’ Compensation Board properly denied review of a worker’s appeal based on his failure to provide proofs of service of his application on all necessary parties. Case: In the Matter of the Claim of Szewczuk v. ETS Contracting Inc., No. 532172, 11/18/2021, published. Facts: Teodor Szewczuk worked for ETS Contracting Inc. until 2003. In 2019, a doctor told him that his longstanding hearing loss was causally related to noise exposure at work. Procedural history: Szewczuk filed a claim for benefits, but a workers’ compensation law... Read More

NATL. - Goldberg Segalla Announces Additions to Comp Team

12/07/2021 | 0

Goldberg Segalla announced that Daniel P. Robinson joined the firm’s workers’ compensation group in Princeton, New Jersey, and that Paul J. Small joined the firm’s work comp group in Hartford, Connecticut. Robinson was previously with Capehart Scatchard in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. He has more than 10 years of experience in commercial defense litigation, including workers’ compensation defense, insurance defense, construction litigation and business litigation. Before entering private practice, Robinson was a special deputy attorney general with the Office of... Read More

AK - Benefit to Increase, SIF Contribution Rate to Drop in 2022

12/07/2021 | 0

The Alaska Workers’ Compensation Division announced that maximum and minimum benefits will increase 7.7% in 2022. At the same time, the division announced that the Second Injury Fund contribution rate will drop next year. Maximum and minimum benefits are based on the state's average weekly wage, which increased to $1,165 from $1,082. As a result, the maximum benefit under AS 23.30.175(a) — set at 120% of the average wage — will increase to $1,398 from $1,298. The minimum compensation rate under the same section, which is 22% of the maximum benefit, will increase to $308... Read More