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CA - Drobot Sentenced to 15 Months for Breaching Plea Deal

12/05/2023 | 0

Michael D. Drobot will return to federal prison for another 15 months as a result of breaching the terms of his plea agreement by secreting more than $1 million into his personal bank account that was supposed to go to the federal court for Central California from the sale of two antique cars.  The sentence that U.S. District Judge Josephine Staton handed down last month was consistent with what federal prosecutors requested. Attorneys for Drobot, the former owner of Pacific Hospital of Long Beach, had asked the court to acknowledge their client’s substantial cooperation in tes... Read More

AZ - Property Owner Not Liable to Worker Hired by Nephew for Home Renovations

12/05/2023 | 0

The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that a property owner could not be held liable for injuries sustained by a worker who was hired by her nephew to perform renovations on her home. Case: Pacheco v. Coffman, No. 1 CA-CV 23-0107, 11/16/2023, unpublished. Facts: Kathryn Coffman owned a cabin in Munds Park. When she decided to renovate the structure and demolish the fireplace, she discussed the idea with Jeffrey Simbric, her nephew. Simbric offered to help his aunt at no charge, and Coffman accepted the offer. There was no written contract between them. Coffman testified that she assumed she w... Read More

WA - Res Judicata Bars Former Police Officer's Claim for PTSD

12/05/2023 | 0

The Washington Court of Appeals ruled that a former police officer was barred by the doctrine of res judicata from pursuing his claim for benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder. Case: Wright v. Pierce County Risk Management, No. 56979-5-II, 11/21/2023, unpublished. Facts: Curtis Wright worked for the Pierce County Sheriff's Office from 1984 to 2011. In 2002, Wright was assigned to the homicide team and the officer-involved shooting squad as a detective. In 2010, Dr. Ann Alpern diagnosed Wright with post-traumatic stress disorder generated from work-related incidents since 2003. W... Read More

IL - Court Revives Injured Worker's Claim Against Alleged Co-Employee

12/05/2023 | 0

The Illinois Appellate Court revived a worker’s claim against an alleged co-employee, finding there was a triable issue as to whether the co-employee was authorized to be at the location where the worker’s accident occurred. Case: Shoemaker v. Bader, No. 4-23-0145, 11/22/2023, unpublished. Facts: In February 2014, Verne Bader sold his agricultural services business to Helena Agri-Enterprises LLC and became a branch manager of Helena's location in Meredosia. In February 2019, a doctor advised Helena that Bader could not work "without posing a safety risk" to himself... Read More

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Press - Trycyfer Web Development Services Empower Businesses with Modern, User-Friendly Websites

11/16/2023 | 0

Trycyfer, a leading Internet marketing agency, is excited to share that our web development services are empowering businesses of all sizes to create contemporary and user-friendly websites that yield tangible results. web development service In the current digital landscape, establishing a robust online presence is crucial for business success. A well-crafted website serves as a powerful tool t... Read More

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Industry Insights

CA - Moore: Workers' Comp Premium Audit Guide for Employers

By James Moore
12/05/2023 | 0

A California workers' comp premium audit guide showed up in a peculiar place.  I came across a PowerPoint presentation and slides from State Compensation Insurance Fund recently. SCIF functions as the insurer of last resort in California.  The presentation slides (PDF) can be found here.   The presentation was from earlier this year.  I recommend downloading the PDF file even if you are not a California employer or if SCIF is not your workers' comp carrier in California. I rarely recommend carrier-supplied info, but this was worth... Read More

NY - Defendants Get Partial Summary Judgment on Indemnification Claim

12/05/2023 | 0

A New York appellate court ruled that the defendants in a Labor Law claim were entitled to only partial summary judgment on their cross-claim for indemnification for a worker’s injuries. Case: Chapa v. Bayles Properties Inc., No. 2021-04514, 11/22/2023, published.     Facts: Andres Javier Lazo Chapa allegedly suffered injuries in a fall from a ladder while working at a job site owned by Bayles Properties Inc. Procedural history: Chapa filed suit against Bayles, Ressa Management LLC and CS Stucco & Plaster, asserting claims for a violation of the Labor Law.... Read More

CA - Registration Open for 2024 Educational Conference

12/05/2023 | 0

Registration is open for the California Division of Workers’ Compensation’s 31st annual educational conference being held in Oakland and Los Angeles in March. The conference is the largest work comp training event in the state each year, bringing together claims administrators, attorneys, medical providers, employers and others to learn about recent developments in the system.  Continuing education credits are available for attorneys, rehabilitation counselors, case managers, disability managers, human resources staff and qualified medical evaluators. The 31st annual e... Read More

NATL. - OIG: OSHA Not Doing Enough for Warehouse Workers

12/05/2023 | 0

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration continues to fail to protect warehouse workers from injuries and needs better protocols for addressing complaints regarding worker safety, according to the Office of Inspector General’s annual report to Congress. The report, released Thursday, calls on OSHA to develop “specific, measurable inspection goals” for programs that target specific warehouses, including establishing a baseline for the number of inspections and periodically monitoring progress toward safety and inspection goals. The OIG also recommends that OSHA deve... Read More

OR - WCD Updates Change-of-Physician Form

12/05/2023 | 0

The Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division updated forms used by injured workers to request a change in attending physician or authorized nurse practitioner. The division said it updated the form to account for a provision from HB 3412 that takes effect Jan. 1 and allows physician assistants to assume the role of attending physician for 180 days from the worker’s first visit. The revised form also includes updated email addresses, logos, and a reference to the now-named Ombuds Office for Oregon Workers.  Insurers are required to provide workers with a copy of Form 2332, &ldq... Read More

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Press - Zack Craft: New MTI America VP of Complex Claims

12/05/2023 | 0

POMPANO BEACH, FL (December 5, 2023) - Zack Craft, ATP, CRTS, CAPS, CEAC joins MTI America as the newest member of MTIs Senior Leadership Team. Craft has over 24 years of experience in the complex care industry, working most recently for One Call as a VP National Product Leader. Craft said, I am thrilled to join the MTI team and contribute to our shared mission. My focus has been on building a dedicated team and developing programs designed to provide the workers' compensation industry with a comprehensive complex claims model of care, addressing the needs of both newly injured workers ... Read More

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CA - Employment Practices Liability Insurance Provider Had No Duty to Defend Employer

12/04/2023 | 0

A California appellate court ruled that an employment practices liability insurance provider had no duty to provide coverage to an insured for claims filed by a former employee. Preferred Hospitality Inc. entered into an employment practices liability insurance policy with the Houston Casualty Co. in August 2016. The policy generally covered claims for a one-year period for “discrimination,” “harassment” and “inappropriate employment conduct,” but specifically excluded coverage for any such claim “on account of the filing of a workers’ compens... Read More

PA - Worker Didn't Prove Thumb Surgiers Were Related to Work-Injury Covered by Settlement

12/04/2023 | 0

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ruled that a worker did not prove her thumb surgeries were causally related to her work injury, as defined in a settlement agreement with her employer, and that she was barred from amending the description of her work injury in the agreement. Case: Bennett v. Jeld-Wen Inc. (WCAB), No. 707 C.D. 2022, 11/20/2023, unpublished. Facts: Bernice Bennett worked for Jeld-Wen Inc. She suffered injuries at work in 2010 that caused complex regional pain syndrome of the left upper extremity. In 2017, Bennett entered into a compromise and release agreement with... Read More

TX - Self-Represented Worker's Defective Briefing Results in Waiver of Arguments on Appeal

12/04/2023 | 0

A Texas appellate court ruled that a self-represented worker’s deficient briefing resulted in the waiver of his arguments challenging a grant of summary judgment for his employer. Case: Royston v. Harris County, No. 01-22-00476-CV, 11/30/2023, published. Facts: Keith E. Royston worked as a deputy sheriff for Harris County. He slipped and fell at work in January 2017. Royston had surgery on his left knee and received physical therapy. Some months later, Royston underwent a functional capacity evaluation. Royston claimed he suffered a right calf strain and right knee effusion ... Read More

NE - Staffing Company Employee Can't Pursue Tort Remedy from Employer's Client

12/04/2023 | 0

The Nebraska Court of Appeals upheld a grant of summary judgment dismissing a staffing company employee’s tort suit against her employer’s customer. Case: Workman v. Hornady Manufacturing Co., No. A-23-183, 11/21/2023, unpublished. Facts: Kira Workman worked for Essential Personnel Inc., a staffing company. Essential Personnel entered into an agreement to provide workers to the Hornady Manufacturing Co. As a part of this agreement, Essential Personnel agreed to pay its employees' wages and benefits and to "handle" workers' compensation claims involvin... Read More

WA - L&I: Comp Rates Going Up 4.9%

12/04/2023 | 0

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries announced a 4.9% increase in average workers’ compensation rates for 2024. The adopted rate means employers and workers will pay an average of $65 more per year in work comp premiums for each full-time employee in 2024, the department said.  L&I said the increase is less than it believes it will need to pay 2024 claims, but for the fourth consecutive year it will tap into its reserves to keep the rates down. “To avoid major changes in rates from year to year, L&I has steadily increased the contingency reser... Read More

KY - DWC Announces 2024 Lump Sum Discount Rates

12/04/2023 | 0

The Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims posted 2024 discount rates for lump sum settlements. State law requires the department set rates at a half-percent below the interest paid on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes for future benefit payments that would amount to more than $40 a week. For 2024, the rate for those settlements will be 3.375%. For settlements of future benefits that would have been $40 a week or less, the discount rate must equal the rate paid on Treasury notes. For 2024, the discount rate for settlements of $40 or less per week is 3.875%. The order adopting the 2024 disc... Read More

ID - Worker's Widow Benefits from Presumption that Death Arose from Employment

12/01/2023 | 0

The Idaho Supreme Court upheld an award of benefits to a Walmart employee’s widow based on the statutory presumption that the employee's death arose in the course of his employment. Jeffrey Jordan worked for Walmart, in the tire department. On Oct. 31, 2018, he collapsed at work and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. Jordan died of a stroke two days later. Jordan’s widow filed a workers’ compensation claim asserting Jordan’s death was caused by work-related stress. Walmart and its insurance carrier filed an answer, then submitted discovery requests and in... Read More