State ex rel. Turner Constr. Co. v. Indus. Commission: Workers' Compensation Litigation

In State ex rel. Turner Constr. Co. v. Indus. Commission, a workers' compensation case from the Supreme Court of Ohio, claimant filed for benefits in connection with four on-the-job injuries. State ex rel. Those injuries occurred in early 1992, June 2005, October 2005, and July 2007. This appeal was filed in relation to claimant's 2007 on-the-job injury.

gavel-2-1409592-m.jpgIn 2007, claimant was employed as a bricklayer when he suffered a thoracic injury and a depressive disorder related to the single incident. In 2011, claimant applied for a permanent total disability rating. Claimant included a report from his treating physician featuring an opinion claimant was suffering from permanent disability due alone to his psychiatric illness related to the 2007 injury. The workers' compensation commission hired an independent physician to evaluate claimant, and this doctor agreed with claimant's treating physician that claimant was not able to work due solely to his psychiatric condition caused by the 2007 accident.

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Roberts Dairy v. Billick: Workers' Compensation Disability Rating

In Roberts Dairy v. Billick, a case from the Supreme Court of Iowa, claimant who injured his back while working at a feed company owned by employer. This injury occurred in 1985, and claimant eventually entered into a workers' compensation settlement with employer at an 85 percent disability rating.

tanker-truck-reflection-395160-m.jpgIn 1993, claimant was injured while working for a trucking company. He was driving a tanker truck in bad weather when he lost control and crashed. Claimant injured his neck, back, legs, arms, head, and shoulder. Claimant again filed for workers' compensation disability and entered into another settlement with his new employer's insurance company. This time, the parties agreed on an 18.5 percent partial disability rating for the whole body. As our Boston workers' compensation attorneys can explain, in disability cases it is often necessary to assign a disability rating as either partial or permanent to determine what is the appropriate amount of benefits.

In 2001, claimant began working for another dairy company driving a semi-tractor trailer. This employer required claimant to drive milk products to various businesses around the region. In 2004, claimant was loading his truck with a pallet of milk crates filled with bottles when he lost control of it, and it pinned him between the pallet and truck's loading gate, crushing his ankle. For reasons not explained, most other drivers' trucks were loaded by others, but claimant was instructed to load is own truck. He suffered four identifiable injuries as a result of this incident and sought medical treatment.

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Sather v. SAIF: Workers' Compensation and Preexisting Conditions

Sather v. SAIF, a workers' compensation appeal from the Supreme Court of Oregon, involves a claimant who filed for benefits in 2009. Prior to the date of claimant's on- the-job injury, he suffered from a preexisting degenerative disc disease. He also had a prior medical history of lower back pain with bilateral radiation to his legs. It is common for back pain to essentially spread to other parts of the body such as the legs though a process known to doctors as radiation.

1314902_medical_doctor.jpgClaimant then suffered a lumbar strain resulting from an on-the-job injury. Claimant applied for workers' compensation benefits and employer's workers' compensation insurance company agreed to pay his claim in connection with the lumber strain. At this point, claimant filed another petition for workers' compensation in connection with the combined condition of this preexisting back problem and his lumbar strain. This time, employer's workers' compensation insurance company denied his claim. The basis for denial of his claim was their belief his work-related injury was no longer a major contributing cause of the combined condition.

Under relevant state law, claimant was authorized to challenge insurance company's denial and requested a hearing before the workers' compensation commission. Following a hearing, the board upheld insurance company's denial of claimant's workers' compensation benefits applications for the combined condition. Once the board denied his appeal, claimant filed a timely appeal before the state intermediary court of appeals.

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Domestic Workers to Receive Workers' Compensation Protection in Massachusetts

Childcare in Boston is expensive. Even those who can afford to send their children to daycare may likely be on a wait list. For this reason, many families decide to go the route of hiring a nanny to come to their home and watch their children during the day.

nanny.jpgSome families will even "share" a nanny with other families and the nanny will watch more than one child at one. While the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has long required parents to treat their nannies or other domestic workers as employees by withholding taxes and giving the employee a W-2 form, employers were not until now required to provide workers' compensation for these employees or provide other protections normally reserved for employees.

According to a recent news article from WCVB 5, Massachusetts legislators have just passed an act to provide additional protections to domestic workers, and this act has been signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick.

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Milbrandt v. Bibb's, Inc.: Third Party Actions in Workers' Compensation Cases

Milbrandt v. Bibb's, Inc., an appeal from the South Dakota Supreme Court, involved claimant who was injured in a work-related car accident. Claimant was injured in the car crash on May 30, 2007. He was working as a truck driver, and was forced to drive off the road by another driver and injured his head, chest, neck, shoulder and hip.

825017_crash_car.jpgHis employer approved his claim for workers' compensation benefits and paid him. At this point, claimant negotiated a settlement with at-fault driver's insurance company in connection with negligence resulting in the car accident.

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Watters v. Nissan N. Am., Inc. - Workers' Compensation Appeals

Watters v. Nissan N. Am., Inc., an appeal from the Supreme Court of Tennessee's Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel at Nashville, involved claimant who was injured while working at an automobile manufacturing plant.

factory-2-1396494-m.jpgClaimant was working for employer at an automobile plant in 2006, when he first started to notice an odd fatigue in his arms and shoulders while on the job. One day in January 2007, he felt a sharp pain in his right arm. He immediately reported this incident to his supervisor and went to see an orthopedic surgeon for diagnosis and treatment.

His doctor first examined him on January 17, 2007 and determined the best course of action for claimant was physical therapy and work restrictions. His employer reassigned claimant to work at a collet retainer machine, which did not require heavy lifting. His doctor also referred him to another doctor who specialized in physical rehabilitation. There was a concern claimant was suffering from a condition known as thoracic outlet syndrome or had problems with his cervical spine. This new doctor ordered an MRI, and an EMG. The results of both tests were normal.

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Injured Worker Exposed to Radiation at Nuclear Power Plant

According to a recent news article from AL Live, a worker at a nuclear power plant suffered an on-the-job injury and was exposed to radiation during the accident.

chernobyl-powerplant-1376891-m.jpgWitnesses say worker was busy conducting an inspection of an area of the nuclear plant known as a dry well in anticipation of shutting down the number 2 reactor to refuel it. This particular dry well contained a depression, which is around 6 feet deep, and worker somehow fell into it. He fell into the hole and hit his forehead, causing a head injury.

Plant officials say it was in the depression where worker was also was exposed to radiation. A spokesperson for the nuclear power plant is saying worker was only exposed to a minor amount of radiation. The reason for the contamination was this dry well was in a layer of the reactor housing, which surrounds the actual Number 2 reactor.

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Wal-Mart to Finally Stop Fighting Fine for 2008 Trampling Death of Employee

As you may remember, in 2008, a worker at Long Island Wal-Mart store was trampled by customers running into the store for a sale known as the "Black Friday Blitz."

gavel-2-1409592-m.jpgFollowing worker's death from on-the-job injuries, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted an investigation into whether Wal-Mart was responsible for workers' death, and if so, if the company should be required to pay a fine. Wal-Mart was also facing workers' compensation claims and possible criminal charges in connection with this tragic work-related death.

With respect to criminal charges and workers' compensation claims, Wal-Mart agreed to $400,000 in victim's compensation and to make donations in the amount of $1.5 million to non-profit social services organizations. However, this did not stop the OSHA investigation from continuing.

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New England Public Work Crews Honor Fallen Worker

Any job requiring workers to go on active roadways is extremely dangerous. Even with road closures, lookouts and reflective clothing, workers are killed on the job on a regular basis.

life-and-death-2-1294270-m.jpgAccording to a recent news article from WTNH, roadwork crews from across New England showed up at the funeral of a worker killed on the job to pay their respects. The funeral included hundreds of workers and a procession of public work vehicles traveling to the cemetery.

The worker who died on the job was working with his crew to fill in potholes, when his life was tragically cut short. Police say victim was working on placing a patch on a large pothole when a public works' truck began backing up. Driver did not see victim and hit him with the truck.

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Hildebrant v. State ex rel., Dep't of Workforce Servs.: Workers' Compensation Appeals

Hildebrant v. State ex rel., Dep't of Workforce Servs., a case from the Supreme Court of Wyoming, involved claimant who was injured while working as a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technician.

ladder-et-sky-479619-m.jpgIn August 2011, claimant was employed as an HVAC technician at college located in central Wyoming. He was working on a ladder when he fell approximately 20 feet to the ground and was unable to move. Claimant was able to use his radio to call for help, and an ambulance was called to the scene to offer immediate medical attention to claimant.

While in the emergency room, claimant complained of pain in his back, shoulder and leg. After doctors performed an initial evaluation, they decided to transfer claimant to a larger state hospital with better equipment, so a proper diagnosis could be completed.

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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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