Workers' Compensation News - March 31, 2004 Volume 2 Issue 14 CompAssist (tm)

A chipmaking trade group said on Thursday that it would sponsor a far-reaching study on cancer risks in semiconductor manufacturing facilities, after years of calls for such an effort by industry critics. 

Semiconductor Industry Association

Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition

ASBESTOS- SELLING DEATH "This is not a fire drill...."
The global asbestos industry blocked a deal that would have made it more difficult to unload asbestos on the developing world. It bought scientists and column inches in national papers. And it is killing hundreds of thousands each year. Hazards exposes the global asbestos industry's desperate battle for survival - at any price.
Hazards Magazine

The Republican majority has pledged to soon bring the bill to the Senate floor that will leave the overwheliming majority of asbestos victims without any compensation whatsoever for their injuries. The bill, if enacted, will provide the asbestos companies and their insurers that knew full well that asbestos would kill with a get out of jail free card at the expense of the victim's constitutional right to their day in court. Please call your Senators today and tell them to vote no on the asbestos bail out bill. The phone number to ask to speak with your Senators is 202 224 3121.
Click on the links below to see the tragedy the bill would cause for workers as told by the victims themselves:

Costco Wholesale Corp. has jumped into the political fight over California's workers' compensation system, saying it would collect signatures to qualify a ballot measure to overhaul the costly insurance program it blames for cutting into profits. 
Costco Chief Executive James Sinegal said on Friday that the warehouse store operator has ordered enough petition forms to gather up to 900,000 signatures at its California stores as part of the bid to qualify the measure for the November ballot. It needs 598,000 valid voters' signatures to qualify.

The Government Records Council (GRC) is committed to making the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) work for the citizens of New Jersey. Since the law’s inception, the GRC has worked hard to make government records more easily accessible to the public. The GRC is committed to being the facilitator of open government in New Jersey.

Under Article 17 of the Warsaw Convention (Convention), an air carrier is liable for a passenger’s death or bodily injury caused by an “accident” occurring on an international flight. “Accident” refers to an “unexpected or unusual event or happening that is external to the passenger,” not to “the passenger’s own internal reaction to the usual, normal, and expected operation of the aircraft.” Air France v. Saks, 470 U.S. 392, 405, 406. While Rubina Husain (hereinafter respondent) and her husband, Dr. Hanson, were traveling overseas, she requested that petitioner Olympic Airways provide seats away from the smoking section because Dr. Hanson had asthma and was sensitive to secondhand smoke. After boarding, they discovered that their seats were only three rows in front of the smoking section. A flight attendant refused respondent’s three requests to move Dr. Hanson. As the smoking noticeably increased, Dr. Hanson walked toward the front of the plane to get fresher air. He then received medical assistance but died Respondents filed a wrongful-death suit in state court, which was removed to federal court. The District Court found petitioner liable for Dr. Hanson’s death, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed, concluding that, under Saks’ definition of “accident,” the flight attendant’s refusal to reseat Dr. Hanson was clearly external to him, and unexpected and unusual in light of industry standards, Olympic policy, and the simple nature of the requested accommodation.
Held: The conduct here constitutes an “accident” under Article 17. Pp. 4—12.
OLYMPIC AIRWAYS v. HUSAIN, individually, and as personal representative of the ESTATE OF HANSON, DECEASED, et al.


THIS YEAR IN WORKERS' COMPENSATION - Wednesday, April 14:, 2004 -NJ / ICLE, New Brunswick, NJ
Introductory Remarks – Emerging Issues in Workers’ Compensation:
Does Workers’ Compensation Need a Prescription Change?-Jon L. Gelman, Co-Moderator

NOSSCR Social Security Disability Law Conference - National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives - May 12-15, 2004 San Diego, CA - Topics include intensive medical issues to Medicare and how it impacts WC. San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina

NYCOSH’S 25th Anniversary Awards Celebration, Friday, May 14th, 2004 6 - 8:30 P.M.

NCSI 2004 Annual National Council of Self-Insurers Meeting. May 16-19, 2004. Held at the Don CeSar Beach Resort & Spa in St. Petersburg, Florida. Additional information: Larry Holt, Executive Director, National Council of Self-Insurers, 1253 Springfield Avenue, PMB 345, New Providence, NJ 07974 (908/665-2152). Website: 

CMS Regional Conference - Medicare Secondary Payer - Jun 23-25, 2004 - Atlanta GA

SAWCA 56th Annual Convention. June 21-25, 2004. Held at the Inn at Loretto in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Sponsored by: SAWCA (Southern Association of Workers' Compensation Administrators), 25 Lazy Eight Drive, Port Orange, FL 32128 (386/304-1993).

SEAK 24t Annual National Workers' Compensation and Occupational Medicine Seminar. July 20-22, 2004. Held at the Sheraton Hyannis Resort in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Sponsored by SEAK, Inc., P.O. Box 729, Falmouth, MA 02541 (781-261-9972). Website: 

AASCIF 2004 American Association of State Compensation Insurance Funds Conference. August 1-4, 2004. Held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Additional information: (952/838-4245) or

AIABC 90th Annual I Convention. August 5-10, 2004. Held at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers in New York City. Sponsored by the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC). Additional information: IAIABC (608/663-6355). Website: