Do the AMA Guides Have Any Place in the Workers' Compensation System?

The great debate continues over whether the AMA Guides have any place in the workers' compensation system. During a recent interview with Dr. Christopher Brigham, Senior contributing editor of the AMA Guides 6th Edition and Todd McFarren, past President of the Work Injury Law and Advocacy Group (WILG) and president-elect of CAAA, the issues were crystallized.

W.R.Grace to Settle Asbestos Claims for $3 Billion

W.R. Grace and Co. has announced that it will fund a trust for resolving all current and future asbestos-related personal-injury claims. The company entered bankruptcy 7 years ago with 135,000 asbestos claims pending.

The State of Iowa joins many other States who will not implement the 6th Edition of the AMA Guides. This follows mounting criticism against the use of the 6th Ed. of the AMA Guides to determine workers’ compensation disability.

California Considers Taxing Workers' Compensation Attorneys Fees

If Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has his way the battered advocacy system for injured workers in California is about to get hit again.

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.

A recent study by the federal government reports that some disabled workers who receive workers' compensation or public disability benefits may be worse off economically than if they had not claimed multiple benefits.

NuvaRing® Safety Labeling Changes

NuvaRing® is a vaginal ring contraceptive medication that was approved by the FDA in October 2001. The drug is manufactured by Organon USA, Inc., based in New Jersey, which was acquired by Schering-Plough Corporation in 2007. Since its initial FDA approval and use on the market, NuvaRing® has been linked to serious venous thromboembolic events including blood clots, pulmonary embolism, stroke and myocardial infarction, or heart attack.

Economic Stimulus Helps Social Security Beneficiaries and SSA

The final economic stimulus package, passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate, will provide “rebates” to millions of Social Security beneficiaries. The legislation was signed into law by the President on February 13, 2008. All Title II beneficiaries who meet the rebate eligibility criteria – including disabled beneficiaries – will receive the rebate.

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

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.

Federal-Mogul Wins Court Approval of Settlement Plan for $9.4 Billion Potential Asbestos Claims

Federal-Mogul Corp., auto parts manufacturer, won court approval of a reorganization plan that resolves potentionally $9.4 billion of dollars in asbestos claims that forced the company into bankruptcy six years ago.

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.

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