Reading Room


Workers’ Compensation News - August 7, 2003 Volume 1 Issue 21

California Court Finds Exclusivity Rule Did Not Bar A Malicious Prosecution Action Against Liberty Mutual
This and other stories see:
--The AFL-CIO has proposed a single payer system that would combine both Workers' Compensation and Major Medical coverage into a single policy system. They suggest that a 25% savings will occur as transactional costs will decrease and that injured workers will hav greater access to medical services without the dispute and delay imposed under the workers' compensation system.

--Democrats Seeking Labor's Backing Call for More Health Benefits All but one of the Democratic presidential candidates made an extravagant bid for support from organized labor in Chicago on Tuesday night. NY Times

--On The Issues (Further Reading)
Every political leader on every issue.

--Gephardt Calls for Universal Health Care System (Further Reading) Gephardt's plan will not only ensure that all working families have access to quality health care, but will offer both business and state and local governments relief from health insurance costs while offering significant economic stimulus. The proposal will pump more than $280 billion into the economy over the first three years.*

This bill provides that the transfer of any funds from the Second Injury Fund (SIF) to the General Fund under P.L.2003, c. 38, the FY 2003 appropriations act, shall be disregarded for purposes of calculating the amount of the assessment to be levied on employers and insurers to support the fund. Current language in the FY 2003 appropriations act authorizes the appropriation of unexpended balances as of June 30, 2002, upon approval of the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting. The Administration has indicated that it intends to lapse $20 million from the SIF to the General Fund at the end of FY 2003. This bill will have the effect of exempting SIF contributors from the assessment increase that would otherwise be required for calendar year 2003 to offset the $20 million transfer or any other transfer approved by the director. The current unexpended balance is $61.0 million. 2003 NJ Sess. Law Serv. Ch. 111 (ASSEMBLY 3707) (WEST) Effective July 1, 2003.

NIOSH Prototype GPS Monitor Promises Faster,Surer Way to Identify Exposures National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is adapting Global Positioning System or GPS technology—similar to that used by the military to maneuver troops through hostile terrain, and by motorists to plan travel routes—as a faster, more certain way to pinpoint locations at outdoor work sites where employees may be exposed to hazardous levels of dusts, gases, fumes, noise, and heat.

--Republicans Raise Doubts About Asbestos Bill
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Four Republican senators who supported legislation to reform the asbestos liability system are calling for major changes before final passage, aides said on Wednesday, clouding the outlook for the bill.
ABB Asbestos Accord Wins Judge's Approval
August 1, 2003

--Congressional bill would end fees to defense attorneys Lawyers here who have made millions of dollars in attorneys fees from asbestos litigation may be forced to retool their practices if Congress approves a bill to end such suits and create a trust fund to compensate people with asbestos-related illnesses. Post-Dispatch

ABB Ltd., Europe's largest electrical-engineering company, won approval from a U.S. judge of a $1.3 billion settlement that resolves asbestos claims against a U.S. unit.,0,4003317.story?coll=hc-

LATEX FDA Food Advisory Committee - Additives and Ingredients Subcommittee A small percentage of the population is allergic to natural rubber latex. FDA has received reports of sensitized people experiencing allergic reactions upon eating food they believed was prepared by food handlers wearing natural rubber latex gloves. The purpose of this meeting is to gather information and to provide advice and recommendations to the Agency relating to reported allergic reactions to food prepared by workers wearing latex food service gloves.

--Judgment on remand by the judge of compensation that the petitioner’s heart attack was causally related to his work effort on January 16, 1996 affirmed; despite vagueness in the testimony as to whether the petitioner obtained relief from his chest pain from rest or antacids, there was sufficient credible evidence in the record to support the judge’s decision; further more, even though the change in the testimony of the petitioner’s expert on remand was “somewhat troubling,” an expert is not precluded from changing an opinion after admitting a mistake, and the judge’s decision, not the expert’s opinion, was being appealed. HRUSZKO v. QUALITY INN, Appellate Division, A-4497-O1T5F, July 17, 2003, not approved for publication

--Division of Workers’ Compensation order granting the petitioner medical benefits affirmed substantially for the reasons expressed by the judge of compensation; contrary to the respondent employer’s contention that the petitioner’s motion was “inadequately supported,” it was undisputed that the petitioner required a third surgical procedure for her spine; furthermore, the pain management treatment and prescriptions authorized by the order were supported by the medical documentation that was before the judge. KASIMATIS v. BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONER’S OF OCEAN TOWNSHIP, Appellate Division, A-6563-OlT3, July 15,2003, not approved for publication.

NJ Workers' Compensation Inn of Court
The Inn is to be renamed The James H. Coleman, Jr. NJ Workers' Compensation American Inn of Court The group was founded by Hal Braff, Esq. Contact Frank A. Petro 609-677-1709

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