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Entries for the 'Workers' Compensation' Category

Governmental Opposition Swells Against Implementation of the 6th Edition of the AMA Guides

State governments throughout the United States are now delaying implementation of the 6th Edition of the AMA guides as a standard to determine permanent disability.

Jon L. Gelman Selected for Membership into The American Society of Legal Writers - Scribes

In 1951, Chief Justice Arthur T. Vanderbilt, of the New Jersey Supreme Court, wrote to his friend Sidney Teiser, in Portland, Oregon, proposing that an informal group interested in legal history and biography get together at the next annual meeting of the American Bar Association.

The Future of Spitzer’s NY Workers’ Compensation Reform Effort and the AMA Guides 6th ed.

With Governor Spitzer now embroiled in a major scandal that may end in his resignation as Governor of the State of New York, all eyes in the workers’ compensation arena are now focused on his reform efforts. On February 27, 2007 shortly after taking office he signed landmark legislation to overhaul the NY system.

Workers' compensation insurance companies have a long history of guarding themselves from liability from asbestos exposure issues. Recently the NJ courts have ruled that workers' compensation insurance companies are shielded from liability when the insurance company performs hygiene studies and does not take action to protect the employees that it has insured under the policy.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a final rule to tighten its procedure in collecting conditional payments made in workers' compensation actions.. On February 22, 2008 the Department of Health and Human Services published a final rule in its program to strengthen CMS's ability to collect payments under the Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) Amendments.

Workers' Compensation News - February 26, 2008, Volume 5 Issue 501

NJ JURY AWARD $30.3 MILLION - MESO TRIAL - FEB. 2008
HACKENSACK, N.J. -- A jury has reached what is believed to be the highest
asbestos verdict ever in New Jersey, awarding $30.3 million to the surviving
family members of a former automotive worker.

An Atlantic City NJ casino card dealer employed at the Claridge Hotel who was exposed to second hand tobacco smoke was awarded workers' compensation benefits. NJ Judge Cosmo Giovinazzi award $150,00 for lost wages and medical benenfits to a card dealer holding that second-hand tobacco smoke materially contributed to the employee's lung cancer.

In a sweeping, decision that will have inpact on thousands of cases, the NJ Supreme ruled that an electronic cancellations of a workers' compensation policies was not in compliance with the statute.

NJ, a State that elected not to data match with CMS, is now reporting a drop of 46% of its backlog from the cases designated "waiting for CMS approval," MCARE matters. In a memo to all judges and attorneys, the Director and Chief Judge reported the drop in the cases so designated.

Occupational lead exposure, especially to lead paint, has been a well known hazard in the workplace you decades. Recent epidemiological studies demonstrate the causal relationship of exposure to impaired brain function, over time, in adults, results in early aging. Employers and insurance carriers should brace themselves for a wave of claims.

The distractions caused by cell phone use and other electronic gadgetry are increasing the exposure of employers to monetary exposure well beyond those benefits that employers are covered for under their workers’ compensation policies. A fatal accident contributed to by the employee’s use of a cell phone while driving resulted in a recent settlement of $5.2 million.

Workers' Compensation medical benefits continue to be up for grabs as the US Presidential Primaries continue. The problematic medical compensation delivery system continues to provide little cost containment, high administrative costs and continues to drain the system by endless delay hampering the delivery of effective medical care.

A new law on the books introduced in the Senate on Dec. 18, 2007 and signed by the President on December 29, 2007 is going to have significant impact on how the workers' compensation system operates in the future concerning Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) issues.

As the new political and legislative year unfolds, stakeholders are keeping their eye on the prize, medical benefits, in the workers' compensation arena. Recent court decisions continue to emphasize the major significance of medical care and continue to question the ability of the presently crafted system to deliver medical benefits in an efficient and effective manner.

WCRI has been “researching” or generating data for the Industry for 24 years. The introductory remarks were offered by Robert Steggert, Marriott International, Inc., Chair WCRI Bd or Directors. The central topic of the entire program has been medical costs and how to contain them and the consequential effect upon medical claims, temporary benefits and permanent benenfits.

Workers' Compensation News - Aug. 10, 2007, Vol. 5 Issue 108


INSURANCE INDUSTRY AGAIN OFFERS MSP LEGISLATION THAT WOULD DISCOURAGE WORKERS' COMPENSATION PERIODIC PAYMENTS
After a failed attempt in the last Congress, the Insurance Industry has again offered similar legislation to encourage "lump sum" settlements in Workers' Compensation hearings, H.R.2549, and circumvent reimbursement of the ailing Medicare program. This legislation failed to gain acceptance in the last Congress as it did not receive the support of interest groups involved in preserving the Medicare system and Labor who continues to support a periodic benefit system in Workers' Compensation.

 	 Workers' Compensation News - July 10, 2007, Vol. 5 Issue 107

FLORIDA EXPANDS INTENTIONAL TORT EXCEPTION

 

Employee's injury was substantial certainty from employer's failure to respond to requests for new ladder did not require proof that employer concealed danger.

 

"Even though case law on the intentional tort exception to workers' compensation immunity is devoid of any defined test that will establish substantial certainty as a matter of law, it is evident that concealment of the dangerous condition is only one of several factors in a nonexclusive list. "

 

Bakerman v The Bombay Company, ___So. 2d____, 2007 WL 1774420 (Fla.), decided June 21, 1007

Jon Gelman Installed as Fellow of The College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers

American Bar Association Establishes The College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers. Jon Gelman, Author and Litigator, Installed as Fellow. NAPLES, FL.,March 2, 2007 – The College of Workers’ Compensation Attorneys announced today that Jon L. Gelman has been inducted as a fellow of the national organization at its first annual induction dinner.

Workers' Compensation News - June 25, 2007, Vol. 5 Issue 106

NYC CONNECTS AN EXPOSURE TO 911
For the First Time, the City Connects a Death to 9/11 Dust 
New York City’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Charles S. Hirsch, has for the first time directly linked a death to exposure to dust from the destruction of the World Trade Center. 

Clearing the Workers’ Compensation Benefit Highway of Medical Expense Land Mines

Medical expenses in contested workers’ compensation cases are now a significant and troublesome issue resulting in uncertainty, delay and potential future liability. The recent NJ Supreme Court decision, University of Mass. Memorial Hospital v. Christodoulou, 180 N.J. 334 (2004) has left the question of how to adjudicate medical benefits that were conditionally paid or paid in error. Presently there is no exclusively defined procedure to determine the allocation, apportionment of primary responsibility for unauthorized medical expenses and reimbursement.

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