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Entries for February 2004

Welder Awarded $1 Million In Jury Trial

 Disease keeps him home, man says Larry Elam first noticed the tremors in the late 1980s or early 1990s, while he was out for dinner with his wife.

Workers' Compensation News - February 28, 2004 Volume 2 Issue 9

NJ LEGISLATION ATTEMPTS TO ELIMINATE BENEFITS --WC: NJ Is About to Take A Backward Step By Adopting a Policy of Burning the Houses Down--Senator Anthony R. Bucco has reintroduced a bill to eliminate entitlement to workers' compensation cash benefits during imprisonment. The bill has advanced out of committee and is scheduled for a floor vote next week. 

NIOSH Announces Worker Notification Program

  The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is a federal agency mandated to conduct research to prevent illnesses and injuries in the workplace. NIOSH notifies workers and other stakeholders about the findings of these research studies. The new web site contains a list of NIOSH studies and notification materials. 

Recent Amendments to the NJ Workers' Compensation Act: Dependnacy Rates / Asbestos Disease Recovery / Notice Requirement Eliminated

 Dependency rates were raise to a uniform 70%, not 100% so the "death penalty" continues. NJSA 34:15-33 was repealed. This effects all occupational claims and eliminates the requirement of notice in all occupational disease claims. This eliminates the conservative case law, ie. Brock.

Workers' Compensation News - February 20, 2004 Volume 2 Issue 8 CompAssist (tm)

 FREE CHOICE OF MEDICAL CARE. Ten Years' Experience Using an Integrated Workers' Compensation Management System to Control Workers' Compensation Costs. Study indicates that COSTS would be lower in such a system. Edward J. Bernacki, MD, MPH, Shan P. Tsai, PhD JOEM 45:5 pp 508-516

Injured Workers' Advocates Call for Insurance Rate Regulation
Call Garamendi Plan "incomplete and flawed" Injured workers’ advocates today renewed their call for workers’ compensation insurance rate regulation, and called Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi’s proposed changes “incomplete” for failing to include caps on rates, and “flawed” for sentencing injured
Insurers Report Record 2003 Profits: Pocket millions while pushing to cut injured workers’ benefits

 Insurance companies are reporting that 2003 was the fattest year on record, while they push to cut meager benefits to injured workers. Many of the insurers writing worker’s compensation policies in California reported “record net income and underwriting income in 2003,” figures in line with other companies’ banner profits.

Workers' Compensation News - February 13, 2004 Volume 2 Issue 7

New Drug Helps Asbestos-Linked Cancer. First Treatment for Rare Lung Cancer. It's not a cure. But a new drug offers precious extra months of life to people with a rare, asbestos-linked cancer.. The drug, Alimta, from Eli Lilly and Company, today received FDA approval for use in combination with cisplatin chemotherapy. It will be used to treat malignant mesothelioma. It strikes some 2,000 Americans each year, mostly due to asbestos exposure. Worldwide, as many as 15,000 people each year are told they will die of mesothelioma.

Parkinsonism due to manganism in a welder

 A 33-year-old right-handed male presented complaining of a 2-year history of progressive cognitive slowing, rigidity, tremors, slowing of movements, and gait instability leading to falls. On examination, he had a Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE) score of 29, slowed saccadic eye pursuit, hypomimia, cogwheel rigidity, a 3- to 4-Hz tremor, and a "cock-walk" gait. His symptoms and signs were similar to idiopathic Parkinson's disease; however, he was young, inattention and forgetfulness occurred early in the course of the disorder, levodopa was unhelpful, and his gait was atypical.

Labor's California Workers' Compensation Proposal

 Adopting the recommendations of the recently released report on PD and Wage Loss issued by the RAND Institute, organized Labor proposes to implement a series of substantive reforms to California’s PD and RTW components within the workers’ compensation system. These proposals will promote efficiency, consistency and cost-savings within the system, without diminishing benefits for injured workers. Additionally, these proposals create incentives to return injured workers to work by dismantling current system components which serve to keep workers in the system too long without going back to work.

Road Rage Assault Held To Be Non-Compensable

 The Supreme Court of North Carolina held that a truck driver' who while traveling exited his truck an assualted anothe driver in a fit of road rage was not within the course of his employmnt and therefor his dependents were not permitted to collect benenfit.

An Air That Kills: How the Asbestos Poisoning of Libby, Montana Uncovered a National Scandal

 The horrifying true story of the decades-long poisoning of a small town and the definitive exposé of asbestos in America-told by the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists who broke it.

FDA has approved Alimta for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved Alimta (pemetrexed disodium) for use in combination with cisplatin for the treatment of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma - a rare type of cancer. Alimta received a priority review and is designated as an orphan drug. It is the first drug approved for this condition.

Workers' Compensation News - February 1, 2004 Volume 2 Issue 5

WORKER AWARDED $12 MILLION - WC BAD FAITH. Court awards $12 million in workers' compensation case. A former nursing home worker has been awarded more than $12 million in a judgment against three insurance companies that denied her workers' compensation claim. The Rapid City jury returned its verdict - $60,000 in compensatory damages and $12 million in punitive damages - last week after a a four-day trial in federal court.''An insurance adjuster is supposed to be like a judge, fair and impartial. ... If you bribe a judge, you get thrown in jail. But they bribe these claims adjusters with bounties that are tied directly to their performance in paying claims.'' 

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