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IL - Worker Who Repeatedly Failed to Appear at Hearings Can't Get Claim Reinstated

04/15/2024 | 0

The Illinois Appellate Court upheld the denial of a worker’s third motion to reinstate her claim after it was dismissed following her failure to appear or have her attorney appear before an arbitrator. Eugenia Bala worked for Covenant Care at Home. She filed a workers’ compensation claim for alleged injuries she sustained on June 25, 2015. Covenant filed a motion to dismiss the case for want of prosecution in August 2017. An arbitrator granted the motion after Bala failed to appear at two hearings. Bala filed a motion to reinstate her case in September 2017, and the arbitra... Read More

OR - Adult Children of Fatally Injured Worker Aren't Constitutionally Guaranteed Remedy for Loss

04/15/2024 | 0

The Oregon Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of a civil suit against a fatally injured worker’s employer, ruling that the state Constitution does not guarantee a remedy for the worker’s adult children for the loss of their mother’s companionship. Case: Pierce v. Best Western International Inc., No. 215, 04/10/2024, published. Facts and procedural history: Patricia Ann Stout worked for Connor Enterprises Inc. She died in 2019 as a result of an on-the-job accident. The representative of her estate filed suit against Connor, asserting claims for negligence, violations of t... Read More

NY - Worker Can't Add New Defendant to Labor Law Complaint

04/15/2024 | 0

A New York appellate court ruled that a worker was not entitled to amend his Labor Law complaint to add a new defendant and that the named defendant was entitled to summary judgment dismissing his claim. Case: Ragusa v. Drazie's Farm II LLC, No. 022-05950, 04/10/2024, published. Facts: Matthew Ragusa allegedly was injured when he fell from a ladder while he was removing decorations and light fixtures from a support column in a tent. Procedural history: Ragusa filed suit against Drazie's Farm II LLC, the alleged owner of the property where the accident occurred, asserting a claim for... Read More

PA - Worker Gets Award of Penalties; Employer Gets No Additional Subrogation Credit

04/15/2024 | 0

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania upheld an award of penalties for an injured worker and ruled that her employer was not entitled to additional subrogation credit. Case: Medical Revenue Associates v. Kanefsky (WCAB), No. 1186 C.D. 2022, 04/03/2024, unpublished. Facts and procedural history: Sue Ellen Kanefsky worked for Medical Revenue Associates. She suffered multiple injuries at work on Jan. 19, 2015. Kanefsky settled a third-party lawsuit relating to the injuries for $650,000 in August 2018. Subject to expenses, the balance of recovery for the settlement was $370,988.66. Kanefs... Read More

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Press - Centre for Neuro Skills Promotes Nicholas Ashley to Chief Governance Officer

03/13/2024 | 0

Centre for Neuro Skills Promotes Nicholas Ashley to Chief Governance Officer Bakersfield, Calif. (March 13, 2024) - Centre for Neuro Skills (CNS), a leader in traumatic brain injury and stroke rehabilitation services, today announced the promotion of Nicholas Ashley, J.D., M.D.R., to chief governance officer. Nick has been instrumental to the growth and expansion of CNS, says David Harrington, president and chief executive officer of Centre for Neuro Skills. Im excited to continue working closely with him to advance patient care. During his 11-year tenure at CNS, Ashley serve... Read More

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CA - Snyder: Public Benefit Rules Have Changed, but It Might Not Make a Difference

By Teddy Snyder
04/12/2024 | 0

In July 2022, I alerted readers about a new Medi-Cal eligibility law, California Welfare and Institutions Code §14005.62, which removed the asset limit test. As of Jan. 1, 2024, there is no asset limit. That means a settling claimant can use proceeds to buy a house in his/her own name. He or she can have a bank account with more than the previously limited amount. Easy-peasy, right? Not quite. What about income? A settling claimant also needs income. Some seriously injured claimants will not be able to return to the workforce. That means the funds need to be scrupul... Read More

CA - Contractor Pleads Guilty to Underreporting Payroll

04/15/2024 | 0

A contractor who pleaded guilty to underreporting payroll by nearly $1 million from 2010 to 2019 was placed on probation and ordered to pay $729,624 in restitution, the California Department of Insurance announced. Kent Bo Fridolfsson, 67, was also ordered to surrender his contractor’s license. The Insurance Department said Fridolfsson is the former president and owner of construction company Diversified Specialists. He had work comp coverage with State Compensation Insurance Fund from 2010 to 2021. He reported no payroll from 2010 to 2019. However, the department said one of his empl... Read More

NE - Lawmakers Send Schedule Rating Bill to Governor

04/15/2024 | 0

Nebraska lawmakers sent to the governor a bill that would revise the schedule of compensation for loss or loss of use of more than one specific body part. LB 1017, by Sen. Carolyn Bosn, R-Lincoln, would clarify current law regarding entitlement to benefits when the loss of more than one hand, arm, foot or leg results in at least a 30% loss of earning capacity. “Under the bill, loss or loss of use of multiple parts of the same arm, including the hand and fingers, or loss or loss of use of multiple parts of the same leg, including the foot and toes, resulting from the same accid... Read More

CO - House Passes Bill to Increase Benefits

04/15/2024 | 0

The Colorado House of Representatives passed a bill that would increase the aggregate limits on temporary and permanent disability benefits. The House on Thursday voted 42-18 to pass HB 1220, by Rep. Lindsey Daugherty, D-Arvada. Under current law, benefits are determined based on impairment rating. An injured worker with a rating of 19% or lower can get up to $75,000 in combined temporary disability and permanent partial disability benefits. HB 1220 would increase that to $185,000. Current law caps combined TD and PPD benefits at $150,000 for ratings greater than 19%. HB 1220 would... Read More

CA - Committee Passes TD Expansion, Ag Worker Protection Bills

04/12/2024 | 1

Members of a California Senate committee passed bills that would in some instances make temporary disability benefits available after an injury becomes permanent and stationary and create a presumption that heat-related injuries are compensable for agricultural workers under certain circumstances. The Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee on Wednesday voted 4-1 to pass: SB 1205, by Sen. John Laird, D-Santa Cruz, which would prohibit employers from retaliating against those who get treatment for compensable injuries when they would normally be working and would authorize ... Read More

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Press - Centre for Neuro Skills Promotes Dallas-based Dr. Stefanie Howell to Director of Research Integration

03/12/2024 | 0

Centre for Neuro Skills Promotes Dallas-based Dr. Stefanie Howell to Director of Research Integration Bakersfield, Calif. (March 12, 2024) Centre for Neuro Skills (CNS), a leader in traumatic brain injury and stroke rehabilitation services, today announced the promotion of Stefanie N. Howell, Ph.D., CBIS, to director of research integration. Stefanie has been integral to Centre for Neuro Skills research program, looking closely at how we can not only improve the lives of our patients but people with brain injuries everywhere, said David Harrington, president and CEO of Centre fo... Read More

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CA - Worker Waits Too Long to Sue Over Alleged Chemical Exposure Injuries

04/12/2024 | 0

A California appellate court upheld the dismissal of a worker’s civil suit against his former employer for alleged chemical exposure injuries as time-barred. Case: O’Bryan v. NuSil Technology LLC, No. F084899, 04/10/2024, unpublished. Facts: Kevin O’Bryan began working for NuSil Technology LLC, a manufacturer of silicone and resins, in 2006. His duties necessitated exposure to hazardous chemicals. NuSil provided training to O’Bryan about the chemicals he worked with and the use of personal protective equipment. After about three years on the job, O’Bryan began ... Read More

SC - Supreme Court Expresses 'Profound Concern' With Administrative Denial of Claim

04/12/2024 | 0

The South Carolina Supreme Court upheld a decision awarding benefits to a worker for a repetitive trauma injury, expressing “profound concern” with the administrative ruling that had rejected the claim. Case: Brooks v. Benore Logistics Systems Inc., No. 28198, 04/10/2024, published. Facts: Dale Brooks worked for Benore Logistics Systems Inc. as a "switcher" truck operator. His job required repeatedly performing the same series of tasks to move semi-truck trailers and ocean freight containers every 12 to 15 minutes for a 12-hour shift. In early January 2017, Brooks bega... Read More

IA - Court Upholds Summary Dismissal of Worker's Gross Negligence Suit Against Colleague

04/12/2024 | 0

The Iowa Court of Appeals ruled that a worker was entitled to summary judgment dismissing the gross negligence suit against him by a colleague whose hand was crushed in a cutting machine. Case: Stokes v. Murillo, No. 23-0289, 04/10/2024, published. Facts: Elisha Stokes and Mario Murillo worked for the same construction supply company. In April 2018, they were working together, fabricating metal rebar. Mario was cutting the rebar and Stokes was bending the cut pieces. A machine was designed to cut pieces of rebar placed on an intake conveyor and then discharge them on another ... Read More

AR - Court Upholds Compensability of Poultry Plant Worker's Heart Attack

04/12/2024 | 0

The Arkansas Court of Appeals ruled that the Workers’ Compensation Commission did not exceed the scope of its mandate in determining that a poultry plant employee was entitled to benefits for his heart attack at the age of 29. Case: Peco Foods Inc. v. Johnson, No. CV-23-133, 04/10/2024, published. Facts: Jeffrey Johnson began working for Peco Foods Inc. in 2018 when he was 29 years old. Johnson was placed in the "live hang" department at Peco, where his job duties were to grab chickens by their feet and hang them upside down. The chickens would repeatedly peck and scratch at... Read More

CA - WCIRB Committee to Discuss Rate Filing Wednesday

04/12/2024 | 0

The Governing Committee for the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California will discuss the upcoming advisory pure premium rate recommendation when it meets Wednesday. Since 2021, the WCIRB has submitted its annual pure premium recommendation in April, with the new rates taking effect Sept. 1. In addition to discussing the rate recommendation, members of the Governing Committee are also scheduled to discuss the regulatory filing submitted earlier this year. The Department of Insurance is holding a public hearing on the regulatory filing April 25. The WCIRB Governing C... Read More

KS - Governor Signs Reform Bill

04/12/2024 | 0

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly on Thursday signed a reform bill that includes benefit increases and more restrictive criteria for injured workers to receive future care after reaching maximum medical improvement. Senate Bill 430, by the Senate Committee on Commerce, increases permanent total disability benefits to $400,000 from $155,000. The bill increases the maximum temporary total, permanent partial and temporary partial disability benefit to $225,000 from $130,000. And the measure increases death benefits to $500,000 from $300,000. The bill also requires benefits to be increased based on chang... Read More

CA - WCAB Proposes $40k in Sanctions, Alleges Pattern of Misusing Recon to Delay Trials

04/11/2024 | 0

The California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board on Wednesday issued an en banc order announcing its intent to sanction an attorney and a hearing representative a combined $40,000 for allegedly engaging in a pattern of seeking reconsideration of non-final orders to delay trials. Specifically, the WCAB cited a series of cases in which it said Garrett Law Group, through attorney Susan Garrett and hearing representative Lance Garrett, requested continuances of multiple trial dates due to calendar conflicts. The board said scheduling conflicts weren’t raised when hearing notices wer... Read More