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Top Stories

MO - Court Overturns Denial of 2nd Injury Fund Benefits to Brewery Worker

10/25/2021 | 0

The Missouri Court of Appeals overturned a denial of benefits from the Second Injury Fund to a brewery worker with a lengthy history of injuries, finding the decision was not supported by competent, substantial evidence. Mark Lynch worked for the Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. for more than 35 years. Lynch was a brewer in the draft beer and kettle departments and performed physically demanding and repetitive tasks. Lynch’s duties included cleaning kettles measuring 15- to 20-feet high; carrying 10-gallon buckets of ingredients from another floor and dumping the buckets into th... Read More

CT - Troopers' Underinsured Motorist Recoveries Can't Include Damages for PTSD

10/25/2021 | 0

The Connecticut Appellate Court ruled that two police officers who narrowly avoided being struck by a colleague’s patrol vehicle were not entitled to damages for their alleged post-traumatic stress disorder. Case: Menard v. State, No. AC 42342, 10/19/2021, published. Facts: Scott Menard, Darren Connolly and Robert Zdrojeski worked as state troopers with the Connecticut State Police. Connolly was on patrol on Interstate 84 in Hartford in September 2012 and detained a vehicle traveling west due to suspected intoxicated driving. After reaching the bottom of the exit ramp, Connolly ... Read More

NY - Worker Must Get Consent From Carrier to Settle

10/25/2021 | 0

A New York appellate court ruled that an insurance carrier’s alleged participation in settlement negotiations for a third-party claim did not excuse the worker from his statutory duty to obtain the carrier’s written consent. Case: Matter of DeGennaro v H. Sand & Co. Inc., No. 532166, 10/07/2021, published. Facts and procedural history: Sergio DeGennaro sustained work-related injuries to his back and knees in 2004 when he was struck by a vehicle insured by the Travelers Insurance Co. After receiving workers’ compensation benefits from his employer, DeGennaro obtained a ... Read More

NY - Police Detective Had Fair Hearing on Applications for Disability Benefits

10/25/2021 | 0

A New York appellate court upheld the denial of a police officer’s applications for accidental and performance of duty disability retirement benefits, finding she received a fair hearing and that the evidence did not support a conclusion that her condition was related to an accident that occurred on the job. Case: Matter of Dowling v. Gardner, No. 532824, 10/07/2021, published. Facts and procedural history: Karen G. Dowling worked as a police detective. In 2013, she filed applications for accidental and performance of duty disability retirement benefits that were denied on various grou... Read More

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Press - Arrowhead Evaluation Services Leases New Nor Cal Offices at 8950 California Center

10/20/2021 | 0

Sacramento, CA (October 1, 2021) Arrowhead Evaluation Services (AES), a prominent Medical-Legal Evaluation Service Provider is excited to announce the Grand Opening of their new Operation and Evaluation Center located at 8950 California Center. AES signed a lease for 2,202 square feet at the popular California Center Business Park, home to many established and growing businesses. Since 1987, Arrowhead Evaluation Services has provided specialty support services to qualified and trustworthy medical professionals. With over 30 years of extensive knowledge and experience in various types of injur... Read More

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Industry Insights

NJ - Geaney: Why Good Adjusters Are Crucial to Success in Workers' Compensation Court

By John H. Geaney
10/25/2021 | 0

Every defense lawyer knows that success in workers’ compensation court is the ultimate team sport. There are many key participants: employers, supervisors, adjusters, counsel, account managers, brokers, experts, IME doctors, physicians, nurse case managers and vendors such as investigators. All play important roles, but more often than not, the adjuster is the quarterback. It has been my experience that the role of the adjuster is absolutely vital to the outcome of a workers’ compensation case. There are many dozens of skills needed to be a successful adjuster.... Read More

OH - BWC Announces Three Convicted for Double Dipping

10/25/2021 | 0

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation announced that three people convicted of working while receiving benefits were ordered to pay more than $44,000 in combined restitution. Crystal Posey was ordered to pay $30,278 after pleading guilty to one count of work comp fraud. The BWC said Posey worked as an office manager for a chiropractic clinic while receiving work comp benefits. Davida Taylor was ordered to pay $12,206 after pleading guilty to a single count of work comp fraud. Taylor worked as a clinical technician and patient care nurse assistant while collecting benefits. Jennifer... Read More

ME - MEMIC Announces $17M Dividend

10/25/2021 | 0

The board of directors for Maine’s MEMIC authorized a $17 million dividend for about 14,000 policyholders. The average dividend will be $1,180, and more than two dozen employers will receive checks for more than $40,000, the carrier announced. MEMIC said in a statement that the dividend represents about 12% of earned premium in 2019. “Had Maine employers not been diligent in following state CDC guidance, this dividend might not have been as large. I truly applaud them and the state’s leadership in effectively communicating and taking difficult measures to keep us all as sa... Read More

OR - DCBS Posts 2022 Premium Assessment Bulletin

10/25/2021 | 0

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services announced that the 2022 assessment on direct earned premium will increase to 9.8% from 9%. An additional assessment of 0.1% will be charged to self-insured employers and public-sector self-insured employer groups. And an extra 0.5% will be levied on private self-insured employer groups. The assessment funds operations of the Workers’ Compensation Division, Workers’ Compensation Board, most of the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health, a portion of the Division of Financial Regulation and other parts of DCBS. The ... Read More

CA - Worker Fired for Suspected Financial Impropriety Fails to State Viable Claims Against Ex-Employer

10/22/2021 | 0

A California appellate court ruled that a worker who was fired because of accounting discrepancies in the books she kept failed to state any claim against her former employer that could avoid the exclusive remedy provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Act or otherwise be legally viable. Marian Garcia began working for the Poker Flat Property Owners Association Inc. in 2006 as an office manager. Stacy Halstead was her assistant. Poker Flat is a property owners' association at Lake Tulloch, governed by an elected board of directors. Poker Flat maintained a boat launch and docks on t... Read More

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Press - Centre for Neuro Skills Promotes Ken Diashyn to Chief Strategy and Development Officer

10/12/2021 | 0

Bakersfield, Calif. (October 11, 2021) - Centre for Neuro Skills (CNS), a premier provider of traumatic and acquired brain injury rehabilitation services, today announced the promotion of Ken Diashyn to Chief Strategy and Development Officer. "Ken's ideas for pursuing growth initiatives aimed at expanding access to care while maintaining the highest quality of care will prove to be valuable as we look toward the future," says Mark Ashley, founder and CEO of Centre for Neuro Skills. Since joining in 1999, Ken has been instrumental in CNS' evolution, hold... Read More

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CT - Court Upholds Benefits to Widow of Worker Who Committed Suicide

10/22/2021 | 0

The Appellate Court of Connecticut upheld an award of benefits to a worker’s widow, finding his compensable injuries led to his development of depression, which led to his suicide. Case: Orzech v. Giacco Oil Co., No. AC 43941, 10/19/2021, published. Facts and procedural history: Stanley Orzech began working for the Giacco Oil Co. in 1994. He slipped and fell while making a delivery to a customer in November 2016, suffering injuries to his back, shoulder and knees. Prior to this, Orzech had long-standing knee issues and was told he would eventually need a replacement of the right ... Read More

AR - Split Court Changes Deadline for Requesting Additional Benefits

10/22/2021 | 0

A divided Arkansas Court of Appeals overruled its own precedent to find that the continued payment of indemnity benefits will extend the statute of limitations for additional medical benefits. Case: Wynne v. Liberty Trailer, No. CV-20-699, 10/06/2021, published. Facts: Terry Wynne worked for Liberty Trailer. He injured his right shoulder while at work in November 2015. Wynne underwent surgery on Feb. 2, 2016, and again on Feb. 17, 2017, because his condition had not improved. He complained that the second surgery had not helped his condition, and he was sent to physical therapy, which also ... Read More

NY - WCRI Posts Updated Trends Report

10/22/2021 | 0

The Workers Compensation Research Institute published the 2021 edition of its New York workers’ compensation system trends report. The study, “Monitoring Trends in the New York Workers’ Compensation System,” was originally established to monitor the effects of legislative reforms enacted in 2007. WCRI said it has evolved into a tool to track key metrics of system performance. “In recent years, New York has implemented several policy changes regarding medical treatment, including medical fee schedule changes, the implementation of a drug formulary for new pre... Read More

WA - L&I Posts Guidance on COVID Presumption

10/22/2021 | 0

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries posted guidance on laws enacted during the 2021 session creating presumptions that COVID-19 is compensable for health care and other frontline workers. Gov. Jay Inslee in May signed SB 5190 creating the presumption for health care workers diagnosed with COVID-19 since Feb. 29, 2020. The governor also signed SB 5115 creating the presumption for frontline workers diagnosed on or after May 11. L&I said health care workers include anyone at any health care facility or other organization that provides emergency or medical services and ... Read More

CA - DWC Announces 2022 Audit Standards

10/22/2021 | 0

The California Division of Workers’ Compensation announced that the Profile Audit Review performance standard for 2022 is 1.68032. Audit subjects with a score of 1.68032 or lower will be required to pay any unpaid compensation but will not be assessed administrative penalties. Claims shops with a higher score are subject to an expanded Full Compliance Audit. The Full Compliance Audit standard for 2022 is 1.95657. Shops that receive a lower score will be ordered to pay unpaid compensation as well as administrative penalties for violations related to late or unpaid benefits. The DWC wil... Read More

TX - DWC Updates Seasonal Worker Coverage Requirement

10/22/2021 | 0

The Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation increased the gross annual payroll requirements for coverage of seasonal workers for next year. The amount for 2022 will be $60,726, an increase of 2.8% from $59,027. Seasonal workers for agricultural company owners with annual gross payrolls of at least $60,726 will be considered employees covered by the Texas Workers' Compensation Act. Farms and ranches would have limited defenses to lawsuits arising from occupational injuries if they don't have comp coverage for seasonal workers who are considered employees. The gross annual payro... Read More

NATL. - NCCI Launches Online Academy for Affiliate Insurers

10/22/2021 | 0

The National Council on Compensation Insurance launched a new online training service for affiliates. NCCI Academy is launching with five curriculum paths covering topics including an introduction to work comp and NCCI, classification basics, experience rating basics, experience rating worksheets and experience rating ownership. “Carriers have been looking for resources to teach their employees about the workers' compensation industry,” Bill Donnell, NCCI president and CEO, said in a statement. “Designed with input from more than a dozen insurers... Read More