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OR - State Considering Tapping SAIF Corp. Reserve to Cover Pension Deficit

By Greg Jones (Deputy Editor)
07/26/2017 | 272 | 0 | 0 min read

SAIF Corp.’s $1.6 billion surplus has caught the eye of Oregon lawmakers, who are trying to address a $22 billion shortfall in the state’s public worker pension program. Oregon State Capitol A task force created by Gov. Kate Brown to address the Public Employees Retirement System’s unfunded liability discussed selling the state-chartered workers’ compensation carrier during its first meeting Monday. The pension program, PERS, has an unfunded liability of $22 billion, but the governor in a July 18 letter said the goal for the task force is to “consider what ass. Read More

NC - Fraud and Compliance Crackdown Yielding Millions in Fines and Hundreds of Violations

By J. Todd Foster (Reporter)
07/26/2017 | 206 | 0 | 0 min read

The North Carolina Industrial Commission’s crackdown on fraud and noncompliance triggered a 175% year-over-year increase in the number of charges for suspected violations of the Workers’ Compensation Act, the agency says. The Compliance and Fraud Investigative Division said it has built up the unit over the past few years, and in the fiscal year that just ended, it collected more than $1.7 million in penalties from noncompliant employers and issued 412 criminal charges. In fiscal 2016, the numbers were $1.5 million in penalties and 150 total criminal charges. “The Ind. Read More

NJ - Court Orders Reinstatement of Attorney Ousted for Resisting Release of Comp Lien

By Sherri Okamoto (Legal Reporter)
07/26/2017 | 118 | 0 | 0 min read

The Superior Court of New Jersey’s Appellate Division last week ordered that a former assistant city attorney for Orange Township be reinstated after he was wrongfully fired for resisting a city official’s demand that he waive a subrogation lien from a workers' compensation carrier against a city employee's third-party recovery. John P. McGovern alleged that the lien was worth approximately $100,000, and that the city’s business manager, Willis Edwards III, had expressly instructed him not to enforce the lien so that the employee – a friend of Edwards&rsqu. Read More

NATL. - Attorney: Mental Illness Muddies Mild Brain Injury Claims

By Elaine Goodman (medical/business Reporter)
07/26/2017 | 204 | 0 | 0 min read

Headaches, irritability and trouble sleeping are symptoms that may arise from a number of conditions. But increasingly, the symptoms are being attributed to a case of mild traumatic brain injury, an attorney said. A surge in the number of mild TBI claims has resulted in part from the increased publicity surrounding brain injuries among National Football League players, said insurance defense attorney Christopher Reinkall, a partner with Doherty & Progar LLC in Chicago. For professional athletes, the issue is often subsequent brain injuries, Reinkall said. Repeated blows to the head may p. Read More


OH - Jury Need Not Accept Alleged Date of Injury to Find Injury Was Compensable

By WorkCompCentral
07/26/2017 | 131 | 0 | 0 min read

An Ohio appellate court ruled that a jury was properly instructed that it could find a worker’s back injury to be compensable without finding that the injury had occurred on the specific date he alleged. Case: Cook v. Administrator of the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, No. CA2017-01-004, 07/17/2017, published. Facts and Procedural History: Ricky Cook worked as a painter for Rizzo Bros., a commercial painting company. While painting a stairway in a dorm at Miami University on July 3, 2014, Cook claims he experienced a loud “pop” in his back. Later that week, Cook al. Read More

Column

NATL. - Langham: Pot, Impairment and Car Crashes

By David Langham
07/26/2017 | 154 | 0 | min read

I served on a panel at the Colorado workers' compensation conference this spring. It was a tremendous program in an ideal setting at the base of Pikes Peak. Believe it or not, the subject of marijuana came up (in Colorado -- who'd have thought?). Marijuana is a subject about which I have written multiple musings on my blog. A few of those are: Medical Marijuana. Marijuana May be a Problem, You Think? So Federal Law Matters in Colorado. What Will The Next 30 Years Teach Us? David Langham In another post, Measuring Marijuana Intoxication, I discus. Read More

NY - Payment for Home Care Services Provided by Worker's Spouse Must Be Paid to Worker

By WorkCompCentral
07/26/2017 | 144 | 0 | 0 min read

A New York appellate court ruled that a comp carrier had to pay a permanently and totally disabled worker for the home care services being provided by his wife. Case: Matter of Buckner v. Buckner & Kaurofsky, No. 523833, 07/13/2017, published. Facts and Procedural History: Raymond Buckner had worked for Buckner & Kourofsky, a workers’ compensation defense firm, before a stroke left him hemiplegic and wheelchair-dependent. His award of permanent total disability benefits entitled him to home health care services, and his wife was authorized to be the provider of those. Read More

Sulivan On Comp

CA - Deputy Sheriff Asks 3rd DCA to Revisit Denial of Compensation for His Skin Condition

By WorkCompCentral
07/26/2017 | 486 | 0 | 0 min read

A Sacramento County deputy sheriff is asking the 3rd District Court of Appeal to reconsider the compensability of his claim for a skin injury from his work-related sun exposure. Earlier this month, the 3rd DCA overturned a decision of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board that had awarded Jonathon McCartney benefits for his actinic keratosis. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, actinic keratosis skin lesions form when the skin is badly damaged by ultraviolet rays. The condition is considered precancerous, as untreated lesions may develop into squamou. Read More

NC - Worker Who Claimed He Owned Separate Business Not an Employee

07/26/2017 | 97 | 0 | 0 min read

A worker who held himself out to be the owner of a construction company was not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, even though he was paid by the hour, the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled. Case: Bentley v. Jonathan Piner Construction, No. COA16-52-2, 07/18/2017.  Facts: Thomas Bentley and his friend George Tucker worked “side jobs” together in and around Newport, North Carolina in 2014. Bentley had printed business cards in the name of Bentley Construction and Maintenance, placed a decal on his truck with the company name and started a website. Read More

CA - Former Costa Mesa Police Officer Gets Six Months on Comp Fraud Conviction

07/26/2017 | 392 | 0 | 0 min read

A former Costa Mesa police officer convicted of insurance fraud in February was sentenced to six months in county jail, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Ryan P. Natividad, 32, said he injured his hand in September 2014 while booking a person into the Costa Mesa Police Department jail. Surveillance footage from the jail showed the incident that Natividad reported never occurred. A jury in February convicted Natividad on felony counts of insurance fraud and making a fraudulent statement. On Monday, he was sentenced to six months in jail and three years of forma. Read More

NY - Kentucky Woman Who Admitted To Stealing Dead Mother's Benefits Sentenced

07/26/2017 | 144 | 0 | 0 min read

A Kentucky woman extradited to New York on charges she stole nearly $40,000 in workers’ compensation benefits meant for her long-dead mother has been sentenced to five years of probation and must pay full restitution. Sheryl A. Colson, also known as Sheryl McClure, 47, of New Concord, Kentucky, pleaded guilty in May to third-degree larceny. The state Office of the Workers’ Compensation Fraud Inspector General investigated and found that Colson’s mother, a former nurse at Orange-Ulster Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Goshen, New York, was injured on the job. Read More

IL - Workers' Compensation Investigator is Subject of Probe into Racist Email

07/26/2017 | 187 | 0 | 0 min read

An investigator with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission is under investigation for using his personal email address to send Chicago water department employees racist, sexist and anti-gay emails, The Chicago Tribune reported Monday. Frank Capuzi, 62, a former Republican committeeman on Chicago’s West Side and the son of former Republican state Rep. Louis F. Capuzi, has worked for the state for 42 years and makes more than $114,000 a year, the newspaper said. “The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission is currently investigating the highly offensive a. Read More

TN - Prison Employees With Scabies Say They Faced Retaliation For Work Comp Claims

07/26/2017 | 241 | 0 | 0 min read

A scabies outbreak that hit more than 300 inmates has now spread to an estimated 17 employees at a privately run Nashville jail, a lawsuit alleges. The employees faced retaliation and reprimands in their personnel files if they spoke out or filed workers’ compensation claims, The Tennessean reported. CoreCivic, formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America, runs the 1,300-bed Metro-Davidson County Detention Center in Antioch. The prison company is the defendant in at least three pending lawsuits alleging it failed to properly treat the infestation of the skin-burrowing mite, th. Read More

ME - Pot-Related Labor Issues Discussed by Legislative Committee

07/26/2017 | 136 | 0 | 0 min read

Under Maine’s new recreational marijuana law, most employers won’t be able to fire workers for testing positive for the substance, but must instead prove they were impaired on the job, a state official said. And under the state’s existing medical marijuana program, businesses can’t turn down job applicants for using marijuana because they might be using it to treat a medical condition, said Julie Rabinowitz, the Maine Department of Labor’s director of policy, operations and communications. Rabinowitz spoke on Monday to a state legislative committe. Read More

WA - Federal Lawmakers Propose 'Resource Center' for Hanford Workers

07/26/2017 | 101 | 0 | 0 min read

Two U.S. senators are proposing legislation that would require the U.S. Department of Energy to work with officials in Washington state to create a resource center to educate workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation about federal and state compensation programs for people injured on the job. U.S. Sen. Patty Murray Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, both Democrats from Washington state, inserted language into the Fiscal Year 2018 Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill to address what they called ongoing concerns about the health of workers at the nuclear waste storage. Read More

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Press - ReEmployAbility Expands Customer Service Team

07/19/2017 | 892 | 0 | min read

Tampa, FL (July 18, 2017) – ReEmployAbility, the largest national provider of specialty early Return-to-Work (RTW) services and transitional employment programs, is pleased to announce the expansion of three new members to its Client Services Department to accommodate significant growth in cli. Read More