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February 10, 2006 3:52 AM
Workers' Compensation News - February 10, 2006, Volume 4 Issue 402

 TAINTED TISSUE AND BONES USED IN TRANSPLANTS
http://www.gelmans.com/FrontEnd/ReadingRoom/vwArticle.asp?ArticleId=603

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ASBESTOS: THE IRON GRIP OF LEGACY
The ILO estimates that 100,000 people die each year from work-related asbestos exposure. Asbestos-caused cancers will kill at least 15,000 people in Japan in the next five years, and up to 100,000 people in France over the next 20 to 25 years. In the United States, hundreds of thousands of injury claims have been filed since the 1970s for deaths, cancers and other health problems related to asbestos exposure, bankrupting dozens of U.S. companies. ILO online spoke with Jukka Takala, Director of the ILO InFocus Programme SafeWork.
http://www.ilo.org/public/english/bureau/inf/features/06/asbestos.htm

ASBESTOS: BABCOCK WILCOX SETTLEMENT PLAN APPROVED
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana issued an order confirming The Babcock & Wilcox Company ("B&W") Chapter 11 Joint Plan of Reorganization (the "Plan") and the associated proposed settlement agreement.
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/printstory.mpl/prn/texas/3593608

ASBESTOS: THE IRON GRIP OF LATENCY
The ILO estimates that 100,000 people die each year from work-related asbestos exposure. Asbestos-caused cancers will kill at least 15,000 people in Japan in the next five years, and up to 100,000 people in France over the next 20 to 25 years. In the United States, hundreds of thousands of injury claims have been filed since the 1970s for deaths, cancers and other health problems related to asbestos exposure, bankrupting dozens of U.S. companies. 
http://www.ilo.org/public/english/bureau/inf/features/06/asbestos.htm

USG Announces $4B Plan To Settle Asbestos Liabilities
USG Corp. today announced that it has reached a $4 billion agreement that will allow it to resolve all of its asbestos-related liabilities and possibly emerge from bankruptcy in 2006.
In re: USG Corp., et al., No. 01-2094, D. Del. Bkcy.

TEACHERS TAKE DAILY ABUSE SURVEY SHOWS
NASUWT survey reveals insults and threats are part of Teachers’ daily life
Some teachers across the South West of England face a daily torrent of abuse and threats, according to a new survey by NASUWT, the largest union representing teachers and headteachers throughout the UK.
The poll of 355 teachers, taken over a two-week period in November, asked teachers to record the level of verbal abuse they faced on a day-to-day basis.
http://www.teachersunion.org.uk/Templates/Internal.asp?NodeID=72087

STRESS AT WORK: LIBRARIANS SUFFER MORE STRESS THAN FIREFIGHTERS
A new study into perceived levels of stress shows that one in three workers across occupations suffer from poor psychological health, suggesting that all organisations need to take stress seriously
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4605476.stm

FRAMWORKERS and PARKINSON'S DISEASE
The US farmworkers' union UFW is demanding government action on a reported Parkinson's disease risk from occupational exposure to pesticides. A UFW petition urges people to tell the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that federal scientists 'should be looking at the real-life scenarios of exposures for everyone ?
http://www.ufwaction.org/campaign/parkinsons

ST. PAUL TRAVELERS NET FALLS 41% on Asbestos and Storms
St. Paul Travelers Cos., the second- largest U.S. commercial insurer, said fourth-quarter profit fell 41 percent as the company set aside $1.48 billion before tax for asbestos and hurricane-related claims. 
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&sid=aSjw1St7vLO4&refer=us

AIG DISPUTE- JUDGE EXTENDS ORDER
A New York state Supreme Court judge yesterday extended an order preventing a private insurance agency controlled by the former head of American International Group Inc., Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg, from trying to divert business from AIG to a unit of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and other AIG competitors.
WSJ 2.3.06 
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113892818562363912.html?mod=rss_whats_news_us 

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CASES

RECREATIONAL ACTIVITY Police officer injured during off-duty pick-up basketball game
A police officer who injured his leg while off duty, playing in a pickup game of basketball at a private facility was not entitled to workers' compensation. Playing in the off-duty pickup game of basketball was a wholly voluntary choice by the officer, and his employer did not exert any form of reassure to make his choice less than voluntary. The general, and reasonable, expectation that a police officer will maintain sufficient physical fitness to perform his or her duties, was not a sufficient basis to extend workers' compensation coverage to any and all off-duty recreational or athletic activities in which an officer voluntarily chooses to participate. 
City of Stockton v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd. 2006 WL 198094 (Cal.App. 3 Dist.)

LATEX
Life threatening exposure to latex and medical expert testimony results in total disability award for NY telephone company worker. "The attorneys contend that the claimant's condition progressively worsened due to continual exposure to latex and that the employer was 'late and incomplete in eliminating the allergens from the work environment.' 
"...the claimant's treating physician ... testified that the claimant was 'not employable whether at work outside the house or inside the house." The doctor stated the claimant 'has very severe limitations and cannot be exposed to a minute amount of latex' which "could cause a life-threatening reaction."
In re Verizon, 2005 WL 3704609 (N.Y.Work.Comp.Bd.) Case No. 9000 6937 December 29, 2005.

CREDIBILITY
The Workers' Compensation judge had the opportunity to see and to hear the witnesses, and he was able to assess their demeanor and their credibility. The Judge found that the testimony of Utter, his wife, and his expert witnesses, was consistent, credible, and reliable. The record overwhelmingly supports the judge's decision.
UTTER v. ALLIED SIGNAL, INC.,Not Reported in A.2d, 2006 WL 216671 (N.J.Super.A.D.)

ASBESTOS - MESOTHELIOMA
California Court: Exposure To Asbestos Enough To Satisfy Substantial Factor Test 
http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/nonpub/A107353.DOC

ASBESTOS - DEATH BENEFITS ALLOWED DEPENDENT EVEN THOUGH WORKER WAS RETIRED
Delaware Court Allows Wife To Collect Death Benefits For Voluntarily Retired Spouse. Long latency period recognized by the Court. 
Mary Hirneisen v. Champlain Cable Corp., f/k/a Haveg Industries 
http://www.google.com/url?sa=U&start=5&q=http://courts.delaware.gov/Opinions/(x0aynrmonkve4omjdpoi5kid)/download.aspx%3FID%3D61820&e=42

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QUOTE:
"Asbestos is one of the most, if not the most important single factor causing work-related fatalities, and is increasingly seen as the major health policy challenge worldwide", comments Jukka Takala.
Jukka Takala, Director of the ILO InFocus Programme SafeWork

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CALENDAR
Mar. 11, 2006 9:30a - 3:30p, Forsegate Country Club, Jamesburg, NJ
To register contact Frank A. Petro 609.677.1790

May 4-7, 2006 WILG Conference at Disney World. 
http://www.wilg.org

May. 10, 2006 4p-8p, Pines Manor, Edison, NJ
3rd ANNUAL THIS YEAR IN WORKERS' COMPENSATION: Top Issues & Cases
A panel of State and national experts address important issues that can make or break your case, including a concise analysis of key cases that have been decided during the 
past year. NJ Institute for Continuing Legal Education
http://www.njicle.com/cgi-bin/njicle?SessionID=19&doc=/Seminars/YearWC_5-10-06.html

July 15-19, 2006 ATLA Convention in Seattle, WA 

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