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Entries for April 2003

Finding Justice Through Civil Litigation

In America, workers have less protection than all other citizens. All other citizens can sue anyone who injures them and their damages are not arbitrarily limited. Many would argue that the injured worker has superior rights because he must only prove that the injury was caused by the workplace, whereas all others must prove the fault of the wrongdoer.

Verbally Assaulted Teacher Awarded Workers’ Compensation Benefits

 A Paterson school teacher verbally assaulted by another teacher was entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits, including temporary disability and medical treatment, according to a ruling issued by the NJ Appellate Division. The ruling affirmed the trial court’s decision that allowed benefits to the injured educator. 

Silicosis - What Have We Learned Since the Hawk’s Nest Tunnel Project in 1931?
 In 1929, thirty-five contractors bid on a privately built hydro-electric dam project in West Virginia that required a three-mile-long tunnel dri...
9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Expands Eligibility to Include Injured Rescue Workers and Volunteers

The Victim Compensation Fund is a special program implemented to provide financial compensation to victims of the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. 

Medicare Seeks to Expand Its Terms of Involvement in Workers’ Compensation – The Grissom 2003 Memorandum
 CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) issued a 2nd memorandum expanding its potential involvement in compensation matters in an effor...
Medicare Coordination of Benefits - Secondary Payer

Payment under Medicare may not be made for any item or service when payment has been made or can reasonably be expected to be made for such item or service under a workers' compensation (WC) law or plan of the United States or any state. If it is determined that Medicare has paid for items or services that can be or could have been paid for under WC, the Medicare payment constitutes an overpayment.  

The Workers' Compensation System is Broken Declares California Insurance Commissioner

I have said repeatedly, the workers’ compensation system is broken. Today, I am here to tell you that we are fast approaching the point of no return, meaning if we do not hunker down and make the tough decisions to reform this system now, we face imminent disaster in workers’ compensation. My friends, there is no option, but to control the costs in the system. 


Timeline of Asbestos Regulatory and Legislative Activities

1900 Asbestos recognized as a cause of occupational disease (asbestosis) in Charing Cross Hospital, London. A presumptive connection is established.
1918 Insurance companies, including Prudential, refuse to sell insurance to asbestos workers.

Asbestos Ban Recommended by US Geological Survey

 The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) calls asbestos “a commercial designation for any mineral products composed of strong and flexible fibers, resistant to heat, corrosion, abrasion, and that can be woven.” Despite all of these remarkable properties, known since the time of Aristotle, controversy has followed asbestos due to numerous and well-documented adverse health effects. Various federal and state agencies and private sector organizations grapple with continuing public health concerns, such as the legacy of the Libby, Montana vermiculite mine, possible asbestos risks from the World Trade Center collapse and other related issues. They also continue to address current developments regarding the safety and efficacy of substitutes.

Teacher in verbal attack eligible for workers' comp

A state appeals court ruled Monday that a Kennedy High School teacher is entitled to receive workers' compensation and medical benefits for psychological trauma caused by a co-worker's verbal attack. 

Workers’ Compensation News - April 17, 2003 Volume 1 Issue 6
 **Cases - Reported --Medical provider's failure to pursue an administrative remedy barred a subsequent common law action for indemnification. A...
Workers’ Compensation News - April 17, 2003 Volume 1 Issue 6

 Medical provider's failure to pursue an administrative remedy barred a subsequent common law action for indemnification. A "hold harmless" stipulation contained in a Section 20 disposition requires the respondentto reimburse the petitioner's attorney for defense costs resulting from asubsequent suit seeking reimbursement of medical expenses.

Deal Reached on Federal Smallpox Compensation Plan

Late Wednesday night, April 9th, 2003, Senator Kennedy and White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card reached an agreement on a smallpox compensation bill that, while not perfect, meets many of the objectives that the coalition of labor and the Workplace Injury Litigation Group (WILG) sought to achieve.

An estimated 1.3 million employees in construction and general industry face significant asbestos exposure on the job. Heaviest exposures occur in the construction industry, particularly during the removal of asbestos during renovation or demolition. Employees are also likely to be exposed during the manufacture of asbestos products (such as textiles, friction products, insulation, and other building materials) and during automotive brake and clutch repair work.

Workers' Compensation News - April 6, 2003 Volume 1 Issue 5

 LOZANO v. FRANK DE LUCA CONSTRUCTION,--Appellate Division, A-2730- 01TI, March 27, 2003, not approved for publication. Denial of the petitioner mason's motion for medical and temporary disability benefits for injuries that he sustained while driving a go-cart when he was working for the respondent construction company affirmed; the petitioner was not entitled to workers' compensation benefits because he was "engaged in a recreational activity that did not arise out of or in the course of his employment"; moreover, the findings of the judge of compensation were supported by substantial and credible evidence.

Workers' Compensation Not Covered Under HIPPA

The HIPAA Privacy Rule does not apply to entities that are either workers’ compensation insurers, workers’ compensation administrative agencies, or employers, except to the extent they may otherwise be covered entities. However, these entities need access to the health information of individuals who are injured on the job or who have a work-related illness to process or adjudicate claims, or to coordinate care under workers’ compensation systems. Generally, this health information is obtained from health care providers who treat these individuals and who may be covered by the Privacy Rule. The Privacy Rule recognizes the legitimate need of insurers and other entities involved in the workers’ compensation systems to have access to individuals’ health information as authorized by State or other law. Due to the significant variability among such laws, the Privacy Rule permits disclosures of health information for workers’ compensation purposes in a number of different ways.

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