Reading Room

Workers' Compensation News - April 28, 2004 Volume 2 Issue 18

 Wednesday 28 April 2004
Today is Workers’ Memorial Day when we remember those who died because of their work and renew our commitment to fight for the living.

Statement by OSHA Administrator John Henshaw On Worker Memorial Day 2004
"Today is Worker Memorial Day, a day to pay tribute to the men and women who have lost their lives on the job. We mourn with their families and friends, and we recognize that the loss of these very special people extends beyond the home; the loss is felt in schools, places of worship, at social gatherings, in local communities, and throughout the entire nation.
"This day was established to take the time to cherish the memory of these workers. These are America's sons and daughters, men and women whose sole purpose was to work hard at an honest living, support their families and their communities, and live the American dream.
..."The ultimate right of every worker is to return home safely. We must continue working to ensure that that happens. This is a day set aside to not only commemorate the lives of those men and women who went to work one day and didn't come home, but to also remind us that our work isn't finished.

Child born after parent's death may be found to be wholly dependent upon that parent.
The definitions provision in the workers' compensation statute states a "child" includes a "posthumous child." The workers' compensation law is required to be construed in favor of the injured worker.
Keystone Masonry Corp. v. Hernandez 2004 WL 829038 (Md.App.) ($)

Issue is Americans' Health, Not Companies' Costs
The Senate failed today to force a vote on the asbestos bailout bill, ensuring that it will not pass this year. The bill, rushed to the floor by Majority Leader Frist without a committee hearing, would have denied thousands of Americans their day in court, reduced damage awards to victims of asbestos diseases, and run out of money well before the epidemic of asbestos deaths peaks.

Madison (WI) Passes Smokefree Workplace Law
City Council approves law by 15-5 margin
After three hours of public testimony, the Madison (WI) City Council voted 15-5 in favor of smokefree workplace legislation for all Madison workers, including restaurant and bar workers.
"Currently, few bartenders and waitresses benefit from smoke-free workplace laws," said Gretchen Peterson of the American Cancer Society. "But all workers should have a right to breath clean air," she said. "We all know there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke."

FDA-Approved Latex Glove Labeling Preempts Breach Of Warranty Claims 
Under the Medical Device Amendments (MDA), a plaintiffs' claims for breach of implied warranty for alleged insufficient warnings on latex glove packages are preempted by federal requirements for glove labeling, a federal judge ruled March 25 (Jean M. Whitson, et al. v. Safeskin Corp., Inc., et al., No. 3:03cv746, M.D. Pa.). 
Jean M. Whitson, et al. v. Safeskin Corp., Inc., et al. 
Mealey Publications

Commission to Allow Insurance Cuts for Retired Employees
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission voted Thursday to allow employers to reduce or eliminate health benefits for retirees when they become eligible for Medicare at age 65.
NY Times


The Office of Executive Programs Construction Policy Program, led by Senior Fellow Fred Feinstein, conducts research and develops policies relevant to the construction industry and its major stakeholders, including project owners, design professionals, contractors, building trades and workers. The Program identifies issues of concern to the industry that can benefit from research and analysis, best practice surveys and model policy development. On Tuesday, May 4, 2004, researchers plan to present findings on Construction Procurement Practices in the Washington, D.C. Area and on Workers’ Compensation. 
-Gerard Waites
-Randy Rabinowitz
-Ruth Ruttenberg
-Fred Feinstein

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:

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