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June 03, 2006 3:30 AM
Workers' Compensation News - June 10, 2006, Volume 4 Issue 406a

 NJ WORKERS' COMPENSATION CLAIMS DECLINE
The NJ DWC reported a 5% decline in the filing of claims in 2005 (37,248) from 2004 (39,212). The statistic also represents a 31% decline from 1992 (54,164).
http://www.state.nj.us/labor/wc/stats.htm
This is consistent with the 25^ decline in the number of indemnity claims paid in NJ from from 1992 to 2002 as reported by NJ CRIB.
http://www.njcrib.com/PremiumLossExperience/expgraph06.pdf
NJ Medical costs have soared 108% during the same period of time while indemnity has risen only 48%..
http://www.njcrib.com/PremiumLossExperience/expgraph09.pdf

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ASBESTOS COMPENSATION PLAN TO BE RE-INTRODUCED IN THE US SENATE
U.S. Senate supporters of a plan to create a $140 billion trust fund to pay asbestos-exposure victims said they have revised the proposal to try to win over opponents who blocked the measure in February. 
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&sid=a.yqUZi3iWxI&refer=us

ATLA: Asbestos Bill Remains $20 Billion Corporate Bailout for Asbestos Companies That Knowingly Poisoned People
Minor Changes to Bill Make it Worse for Asbestos Victims 
http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060602/clf503.html?.v=22

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization Opposes S. 3274, the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2006; New ''FAIR'' Act Still Highly Unfair to Asbestos Victims 
Asbestos Victims, Families Would Still Be Left Out in the Cold; Revised Trust Fund Bill Represents Corporate Bailout for Victims
http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20060602005271&newsLang=en

Asbestos Victims, Families Would Still Be Left Out in the Cold; Revised Trust Fund Bill Represents Corporate Bailout for Victims
A revised bill that would replace the asbestos-litigation system with a multi-billion dollar government program still "leaves victims out in the cold," and amounts to "giving large corporations a traffic ticket while taking away the citizen's right to sue," according to Susan Vento, chair of the national Committee to Protect Mesothelioma Victims (CPMV). 
http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=66837

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CONTACT INFORMATION FOR MOTIONS TO JOIN GROUP HEALTH CARE (GHC) CARRIERS
Horizon - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NJ presently has contracts with its group beneficiaries that apparently indicate that they will NOT pay for work-related events. Their policy has been to "recapture" benefits from the medical providers, ie. doctors, hospitals, etc. The providers in turn then look to the injured worker who received unauthorized medical care. At the recent NJ ICLE seminar it was suggested, based upon the present case law, that a Motion to Join the GHC be filed. This subject, “Collateral Medical Reimbursement” is also discussed and forms provided in 39 NJ Practice 17.20 to 17.28 (new sections) May 2006 supplement. It will also be a topic at the upcoming NJ ICLE seminars Fall 2006 (see below).
Contact information for Horizon is: 
Sheri Hecht Leonard, Esq. 
Horizon Legal Affairs Department
3 Penn Plaza, Suite 16F
Newark, NJ 07105-2200
Fax 873-466-7759
e-mail: sheri_hecht_leonard@horizonblue.com

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HERNIAS: Medical, Policy and Financial Considerations
A report of the Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia.
http://www.worksafebc.com/health_care_providers/Assets/PDF/Hernia.pdf

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CASES

Exemption from Tort Liability
County could not exempt itself from tort liability by adopting policy that purported to be exclusive remedy for injuries.
As a matter of first impression in Kentucky, the Kentucky Supreme Court held that a county could not exempt itself from the purview of the Kentucky Governmental Tort Liability Act by adopting a civil service policy that purported to be the employees' exclusive remedy for on-the-job injuries. Compensation for an on-the-job injury was not a fringe benefit for which a county was statutorily empowered to determine whether to provide. Also, one purpose of the Act was to specify circumstances in which a local governmental entity could be sued for negligence. The authority granted to counties to define personnel policies, including fringe benefits, did not grant counties the power to suspend or remove negligence actions provided by the Act. Lastly, the policy was repugnant to public policy.
Crawley v. Hamilton County 2006 WL 1381645 (Tenn.)

Last Injurious Rule Not Applicable in Latex Exposure Claim
Knox County -The trial court awarded Plaintiff 54 percent permanent partial disability as a result of sustaining a latex allergy injury. Defendant contends the evidence established that Plaintiff did not have a latex allergy condition and if she did, her last employer would be responsible for compensation under the last injurious exposure rule.
C. Annette Garland v. St. Mary's Health System, Inc. - E2005-01512-WC-R3-CV View 
http://www.tsc.state.tn.us/OPINIONS/workcomp/PDF/061/garlandc.pdf


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CALENDAR

June 11-14, 2006.2006 Annual Meeting of the National Council of Self-Insurers. Held at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida. Additional information: National Council of Self-Insurers, 1253 Springfield Avenue, PMB 345, New Providence, NJ 07974. Phone: 908-665-2142.
http://www.natcouncil.com
...

JUly 15, 2006, Workers Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG)
Seattle, Washington http:/www.wilg.org
...

July 15-19, 2006, Association of Trial Attorney of America (ATLA)
Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington 
http://www.atla.org/convention/SE06/

...

Thursday, Sept. 16, 2006 Workers' compensation Motion Practice
Marriott Hotel (formerly Radisson Hotel), Mt. Laurel
5:00 PM to 9:00 PM 
http://www.njicle.com/cgi-bin/njicle?SessionID=32&doc=/Seminars/wc_10-12-06.htm
(See listing below for additional details)
...

September 25-29, 2006 92nd Annual IAIABC Convention. Held in Little Rock, AR. Additional information: International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC), 5610 Medical Circle, Suite 24
Madison, WI 53719. Phone: 608-663-6355. Website: www.iaiabc.org
...

Thursday, October 12, 2006 Workers' Compensation Motion Practice
The Newark Club, Newark
5:00 PM to 9:00 PM
http://www.njicle.com/cgi-bin/njicle?SessionID=32&doc=/Seminars/wc_10-12-06.htm 

PROVEN STRATEGIES FOR DEALING WITH IMPORTANT ISSUES CONFRONTING TODAY’S WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ATTORNEY, INCLUDING…
• How and when do you file a motion for medical and temporary benefits under the new Rules?
• How can you join the group health carrier and medical providers to meet new responsibilities under the recent case law?
• In what situations should you file a motion for supplemental discovery and what should be requested?
• When and why should you file a motion to preserve the testimony of a witness?
…and more

Moderator: 
JON L. GELMAN, ESQ. 
Author: “New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Law” (3rd Ed, Thompson-West) 
Law Offices of Jon Gelman (Wayne) (at both sites) 
 

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