State ex rel. Viking Forge Corp. v. Perry

State ex rel. Viking Forge Corp. v. Perry, a workers' compensation appeal from the Supreme Court of Ohio, involved claimant who was injured while working at an industrial plant. His on-the-job accident resulted in severe injuries to claimant's thumbs, and a surgeon had to partially amputate his left thumb and repair his right thumb.

Claimant filed for workers' compensation benefits and was awarded temporary total disability benefits. After time to recover, claimant returned to work at his old position with light restrictions to due his earlier hand injury. Four months after returning to work, his light work restrictions were lifted, and he returned to his full job responsibilities as before the work-related accident.

Two months later, his surgeon determined claimant was no longer in need of treatment and discharged claimant. He referred claimant to an occupational therapy clinic for him to be fit with a prosthetic device and for further physical rehabilitation.


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Appeal of Brandon Kelly: Workers' Compensation Factors

Appeal of Brandon Kelly, a case from the Supreme Court of New Hampshire, involved claimant who was injured while working for a sheet metal company. His job responsibilities including driving a truck carrying sheet metal products to various job sites and making deliveries to customers.

motion-1197254-m.jpgOn the day of the incident, claimant had been driving his truck to a job site when he fell asleep behind the wheel. After falling asleep, his truck hit a utility pole, and claimant was seriously injured. As a result of his serious on-the-job car accident, doctors had to amputate claimant's leg.

Following amputation of his leg, claimant filed a claim for workers' compensation with employer's workers' compensation insurance company. Employer's insurance company denied his claim for benefits, and claimant appealed to the state workers' compensation commission. After a hearing, commissioners determined he was entitled to workers' compensation benefits and ordered insurance company compensate claimant for his work-related injury.

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Lewis v. L.B. Dynasty: Workers' Compensation for Exotic Dancers

In Lewis v. L.B. Dynasty, an appeal from the Supreme Court of South Carolina, claimant was working as an exotic dancer at a local strip club when a stray bullet hit her. According to court records, claimant was working as an exotic dancer five to seven nights a week at various clubs in North Carolina and South Carolina.

model-silhouette-8-999825-m.jpgDuring the night of her injury, she was working at a South Carolina club. As per normal protocol, she arrived at the club, presented an ID to show she was old enough to be a performer, paid a tip-out fee of $70 based upon the time when her shift started, and got ready to perform. She performed dances on the main stage, table dances and VIP (private) dances. She danced on stage in an order determined by the club and did table dances and private dances when customers requested her to do so. She was required to give a portion of private dancing fees to club management. She was also required to read the club rules each day before performing.

Club rules did not require dancers to work any particular days, but club did set a dance schedule when dancers arrived prior to a shift. If dancers failed to dance on the stage when it was their turn, they could be fined and fired. Dancers could also be terminated for fighting or having sex at the club.

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A Closer Look at Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Many workers' compensation cases involve a single traumatic event resulting in a temporary or permanent illness. However, workers' compensation in Boston, and throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is also available for repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

wrist-pain-1445343-1-m.jpgAccording to a recent news article from Dayton Daily News, what often starts out as an occasional tingling in the thumb can often progress into a strange feeling of pain and numbness, that makes its hard for workers to sleep at night.

Epidemiologists estimate around six percent of all Americans will be diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome at some time during their lives. This figure only accounts for those who seek medical attention and get a diagnosis. Many more will continue to suffer in silence, thinking this is just something with which they have to live for the rest of their working lives.

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Smiley v. Vermont: Worker's Compensation Statute of Limitations

Smiley v. Vermont, a workers' compensation appeal from the Supreme Court of Vermont, involved claimant who injured his left ankle during his employment as a state game warden in January of 1996.

In July of 1996, claimant's doctor documented it had been six months since claimant had surgery on his ankle, and claimant was back at work without physical limitations, though he did have trouble walking up stairs. Claimant's doctor also found progress and limitations to be normal given it was only six months following surgery, as it generally takes a full year to recover from this type of ankle injury.

ankle-x-ray-983698-m.jpgDoctor also noted claimant was offered psychical therapy, but declined. Doctor further expressed his opinion that claimant reached an end of his medical improvement around that time and any disability was likely to be permanent.

During this same time, the state department of labor had created a new rule that required employers or employers' insurance companies to take necessary steps to determine if an employee has permanent impairment as a result a work-related injury or illness at the time claimant reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI).

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Marshall v. Vermont State Hospital: Change to Workers' Compensation Disability Rating

Marshall v. Vermont State Hospital, an appeal from the Supreme Court of Vermont, involved claimant who was working at a psychiatric hospital when he was injured on the job. He was employed as a psychiatric technician and orderly. Part of job responsibilities required him to work with abusive and often combative patients.

230578_hospital_6.jpgWhile lifting and otherwise working with patients, claimant was injured on the job in 1987, 1992, and 1997. All of these prior work-related injuries involved low back issues with pain radiating down his leg. Following each of these injuries, claimant had surgery. After the 1992 work injury, claimant's surgeon determined claimant was 10 percent disabled. After the 1997 injury, his disability rating remained the same.

In June of 2002, claimant was still employed at the hospital and was helping to restrain a self-abusive patient. During this incident, patient managed to lift both his legs off the floor and shifted his entire body weight to claimant and another hospital worker. Claimant was injured and suffered immediate lower back pain with pain radiating down both legs. After this fourth accident, claimant never returned to work. He also did not have any additional surgical procedures and filed a workers' compensation claim.

During claimant's application process, his treating chiropractor submitted a report claiming whole patient impairment rating of five to eight percent for claimant's lower back injury. Parties agreed upon this eight percent whole body disability rating and reduced this figure to six percent, taking into account his partial disability rating workers' compensation commission had assigned claimant in 1992.

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Two Mass. Workers Killed Clearing Snow, Ice From Roofs

This harsh winter has claimed many victims in Massachusetts. We have seen everything from people being injured or killed in weather-related auto accidents, to fatalities involving outdoor recreational activities such as skiing or snowboarding to several accidents involving snow falling off roofs onto people below.

986854_snow_and_ice_on_the_roof.jpgAccording to a recent news article from NECN, two workers were recently killed in Canton, Massachusetts while clearing ice and snow off roofs.

In one work-related accident, authorities say a worker was on top of roof trying to remove snow and ice when he unknowingly stepped on a skylight that had been covered with snow. When he stepped on the skylight, it gave way, and he fell approximately 40 feet to his death. First responders attempted to provide medical attention on the scene, and transported him to a local hospital, but he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

In another Canton on-the-job fatality, a worker was on top of a roof working to remove snow and ice when he fell off the roof. He fell 30 feet to the ground and suffered severe injuries. He was taken to a Boston hospital by medical evacuation helicopter and was pronounced dead at the level one trauma center.

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OSHA: Mass. Shipping Company Exposes Workers to Injury Risk

The United States Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) administration is charged with the task of investigating industrial accidents and issuing fines to employers found in violation of safe labor requirements.

1125238_forklift_1.jpgAccording to a recent news release from OSHA's Boston office, a nationwide shipping company has allegedly exposed workers in Massachusetts and across the country to job-related injury and death due to use of defective forklifts.

After conducting numerous safety inspections during the past few years, OSHA has determined employer left knowingly dangerous and defective forklifts in service on multiple occasions. In response to its findings, OSHA has filed a report with Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission asking commissioners to require employer to remove all damaged, defective and otherwise unsafe forklifts from their job sites across the nation.

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OSHA: Massachusetts Contractors Exposed Fatal Fall Risk

According to a recent news release from the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workers performing renovations at a now-closed dye works plant in Easthampton, Massachusetts were exposed to potentially deadly fall accidents due to employer's failure to provide necessary protection.

constructionworker.jpgOSHA reports falls are the No. 1 cause of worker deaths on construction projects, and many workers are only seconds away from a potentially deadly or disabling fall, which could easily end their careers. This not only is devastating to the injured worker, but also to his or her family, who will be left without their injured family member's future income and may also bear the cost of a lifetime of future medical expenses.

OSHA fined these contractors over $110,000 for failing to provide adequate safety equipment. Regulators found workers on rooftops with no safety harnesses or other fall prevention devices, unguarded holes in the floor of job sites, and employees did not properly receive training to deal with these safety issues.

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Provo City v. Utah Labor Commission: Conflicting Medical Evidence in Workers' Compensation Cases

Provo City v. Utah Labor Commission, an appeal from the Utah Supreme Court, involves a claimant who worked for the city as a facility service technician. He was injured in an automobile accident while driving his truck for a work-related purpose. Claimant alleged the accident caused further injury to an existing congenital spine consider. The accident caused claimant to suffer chronic pain and other disabilities, according to his claim for workers' compensation benefits.

825017_crash_car.jpgClaimant continued working for city, but after four years, he claimed his pain and other symptoms were no longer manageable and requested reassignment to a job with less physically demanding responsibilities. After city told claimant such a position did not exist, he left his job and filed a claim for permanent total disability (PTD) benefits through employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier.

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Shepard v. Dept. of Corrections: Control of Treatment in Workers' Compensation Cases

Shepard v. Dept. of Corrections is a workers' compensation appeal from the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

In 2005, claimant was working for the state department of corrections when she injured herself.

prison-1431133-m.jpgWorkers' compensation commission for the state determined claimant injured her neck, lower back, both shoulders, and her left arm. Commissioners further found she suffered a permanent partial disability (PPD). Commissioners ordered her employer or its insurance carrier to pay for reasonably necessary future medical expenses, limited to prescription medications and four follow-up monitoring visits per year with her doctor listed on her application for workers' compensation benefits.

The commission's order stated either party could move for a modification at any time with a showing of good cause, and there was no limit on which medications her doctor could prescribe for her treatment. Commissioners also ordered employer or its insurance company to pay any reasonable medical expenses claimant had already incurred.

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Armstrong v. State: Maximum Medical Improvement in Workers' Compensation Cases

Armstrong v. State, an appeal from the Supreme Court of Nebraska, involved claimant who injured herself while working as a staff nurse at a veteran's hospital. Both claimant and her employer stipulated (formally agreed) she tore a hole in the rotator cuff of her right shoulder to a severity entitling her to compensation for her on-the-job injury.

1158314_nurse_1.jpgHer employer paid her temporary total disability (TTD) workers' compensation benefits from May 2010 to April 2010. At this point, doctors opined she had reached her maximum medical improvement (MMI).

MMI means doctors have done all they can feasibly do to improve a patient's condition, and there is nothing else worth doing to improve his or her condition. Essentially, a doctor is saying he or she has done everything that could be done, and it's not worth trying anything else in terms of cost and patient discomfort.

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New Non-Surgical Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Millions of Americans deal with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) on a regular basis. CTS is a type of repetitive stress injury (RSI) often caused by making repetitive movements such as working at a computer all day or working in a factory. It can also be caused by working in a supermarket, placing groceries on the shelves or operating a cash register.

wrist-pain-1445343-1-m.jpgMany people consider carpal tunnel syndrome as something you just have to deal with as part of living and working in our modern world. What many people don't realize is CTS is often a work-related injury, which may qualify the injured employee for workers' compensation benefits. These benefits can include past medical bills, future medical bills, and lost wages from time taken off work to seek treatment and deal with pain.

You could just take over-the-counter painkillers, or buy an arm wrap from a local drug store, and try to deal with the pain, but it will probably not get better on its own. It will probably get worse over time. This is because it is a degenerative condition caused by pressure being placed on the carpal tunnel. This pressure can pinch the bundle of nerves and tendons that controls movement in all parts of the hand. Pain can also radiate up the arm to the patient's neck and shoulders.

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L & L Enterprises v. Arellano: Workers' Compensation and Undocumented Workers

L & L Enterprises v. Arellano, an appeal from the Supreme Court of Wyoming, involved claimant who was injured on the job. After submitting a workers' compensation claim, it was determined he was an undocumented worker and, trial court ruled, not entitled to benefits. His application for workers' compensation was denied and he appealed this decision.

travellers-154258-m.jpgOn appeal, the court looked at the issue of whether he qualified as an employee under the state statute for the purposes of workers' compensation eligibility. It should be noted in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as our Boston workers' compensation attorneys can explain, being an undocumented worker is not a bar to receiving an award an award for workers' compensation benefits.

The Massachusetts case involved a construction laborer who was severely injured when he fell into a deep hole while on the job. He was an undocumented worker. When his employer denied his application for workers' compensation benefits, he filed a claim with the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA). An administrative law judge determined injured worker was eligible for workers' compensation, despite his immigration status, and awarded his benefits, including back pay.

Employer appealed, based upon a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court case holding undocumented workers were not entitled to workers' compensation benefits. DIA reaffirmed its earlier decision, citing U.S. Supreme Court did not preclude a Massachusetts agency from concluding employer and employee had entered into an enforceable contract, which upon an on-the-job injury, required payment of workers' compensation benefits.

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Nealy v. City of Santa Monica: Retaliatory Termination and Workers' Compensation

Nealy v. City of Santa Monica, an appeal from the Court of Appeal for the State of California, involved a recycling worker who was injured on the job. Claimant injured his right knee while he was moving a bin full of food waste in 2003. A treating physician determined he was temporarily disabled as a result of his knee injury. He underwent two operations on his knee in 2003 and 2004. His temporary disability rating was extended until May 2005, when his doctor cleared him to return to light duty.

recycling-2-1364013-m.jpgHis restrictions were he could not move large trash bins that weighed 750 pounds when empty and as much as 1,200 pounds when full of garbage. In 2005, the city accommodations committee convened to make reasonable accommodations for claimant, due to his light work status.

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