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March 01, 2005 6:08 PM
Workers' Compensation News - March 2, 2005 Volume 3 Issue 303

 W.R. Grace and Executives, in Asbestos Concealment Action. Charged With Fraud, Obstruction of Justice, and Endangering Libby Montana Community

For these stories and others visit our web site http://www.gelmans.com

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2nd ANNUAL HOT TOPICS IN WORKERS' COMPENSATION

A panel of state and national experts addresses TEN 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

Seminar Agenda – Tuesday, March 8, 2005 4-8pm Law Center, New Brunswick NJ
Moderator: JON L. GELMAN, ESQ. (Wayne)

4:00pm How should you prepare and defend a Silicosis case? – The next wave of occupational claims
• Scientific evidence and epidemiological information
• Check list to identify a claim 
JAMES M. HUGHES, ESQ., Motley Rice, LLC (Mt. Pleasant, SC)

4:24pm What do you do if your case is deemed an “Aged Case”?
• Memos from the NJ DWC provided and will be discussed 
HON. RAY A. FARRINGTON, Supervising Judge of Workers’ Compensation (Hackensack) 

4:48pm How should you prosecute and defend an asbestos claim under the newly proposed coverage rules?
• The 2005 newly revised rules just proposed!
• Federal Asbestos Fairness Act 
RICHARD V. JONES, ESQ., Bressler, Amery & Ross, PC (Florham Park) 

5:12pm How do you prepare for a case with a public employee pension issue? – Rosales v. State Dept. of Judiciary
• Briefs on certification to NJ Supreme Court
• What was decided after Rosales?
• What is on the horizon for pension claims? 
HON. LAWRENCE G. MONCHER Workers’ Compensation Judge (Freehold)

5:36pm What do you need to know about the interaction of Social Security benefits with a Workers’ Compensation claim?
• How to get your claim processed quickly
• Latest information and statistics provided by CMS Baltimore MD
• The increasing tide of data sharing by States and how that works
ROBERT TAREN, ESQ. Law Offices of Robert Taren (Santa Cruz, CA) 

6:00pm How can you keep on track with the Division’s requirements for handling motions for medical and temporary benefits? – Task Force’s Final Report
• The just released new Motion Forms and Certifications 
• The UPDATED Task Force report discussed
• Newly released statistical data
HON. ROSEMARY GRANADOS Supervising Judge of Workers’ Compensation (Lebanon)

6:24pm When is a commutation possible and what proof is required? – Harrison v. A&J Friedman Supply. Co. 
NANCY J. JOHNSON, ESQ. Weston, Stierli & McFadden (Parsippany) 

6:48pm How should outstanding medical bills be paid? – University of Massachusetts v. Christodolou
• The issues at the Appellate level and the decision and beyond 
JOHN R. TORT, JR., ESQ. Leitner, Tort & DeFazio (Edison)

7:12pm When does a worker have “special employee” status? – Marino v. Industrial Crating Co. When are recreational activities compensable? Lozano v. Frank Deluca Construction
• The expanding wave of cases 
• Briefs furnished and discussed 
KENNETH DAVID MACKLER, ESQ. Goldenberg, Mackler, Sayegh, Mintz, Pfeffer, Bonchi & Gill (Atlantic City) 

7:36pm What the Second Injury Fund expects from the parties at the first conference?
• What you need to do to be prepared
• The triennial ACE Adjustment
LINDA SCHOBER, ESQ. Deputy Attorney General, Second Injury Fund (Trenton) 

To register NOW and/or to purchase audio records and materials
http://www.njicle.com/cgi-bin/njicle?SessionID=36&doc=/Seminars/WC_3-8-05.htm

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SENATOR SPECTOR WARNS THAT IT IS NOW OR NEVER FOR AN ASBESTOS BILL
"Thousands of America's workers have died without compensation from exposure to asbestos and 74 companies have gone into bankruptcy from asbestos litigation losing thousands of jobs and placing a great strain on the nation's economy. After 20 years of legislative efforts, the Senate has reached a critical stage where decisions in the next few weeks will result in either compromise or removal of this issue from the Judiciary Committee agenda. A draft discussion bill has been published in the congressional record and its provisions are now being scrutinized by members and so-called stakeholders, really combatants, four of the toughest interest groups in Washington: manufacturers, labor-AFL/CIO, the insurance industry and trial lawyers."
http://specter.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Articles.Detail&Article_id=78&Month=3&Year=2005

BLOOD PRESSURE SOARS ON MONDAYS
Returning to work involves a stressful shift from leisure. The stress of returning to work on a Monday morning can trigger a dangerous increase in blood pressure, according to a study. 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4223103.stm

ABA PASSES ROSOLUTION TO LIMIT MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENT
The ABA House of Delegates passed a resolution endorsing a proposal to limit the recovery of Medicare from workers' compensation awards under the The Medicare Secondary Payer Act. The proposal does not have Bush administration endorsement and would permit workers' compensation insurance companies to shift the economic responsibility of work related medical treatment onto the Federal Medicare system without reimbursement. Medicare is responding to complaints in the delay of integration of data by making "data match" computer programs available to State administrative agencies and to employers and insurance companies. Six States, including NY and CA, have now entered into agreements to speed up the process including,.

OSHA Must Improve Safety for Meat and Poultry Workers
Recent reports highlight the dangerous and sometimes deadly working conditions faced by workers in the meat industry and the urgent need for OSHA to take increased actions.
http://www.ombwatch.org/article/articleview/2656/1/316

STRESS INDUCES DIABETES IN FEMALE STUDY REPORTS
Women who experience stress and a lack of control over their work could be at great risk of diabetes, according to Swedish research. 'We have discovered a link between stress, few possibilities to make decisions and little control at work and the development of type 2 diabetes in women,' researcher Emilie Agardh at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm told AFP. Her conclusions are based on data collected from about 5,000 men between 1992 and 1994 and from some 3,000 women between 1996 and 1998. Approximately 450 of the men and women studied suffered from type 2 diabetes. Many of the women suffering from the illness said they felt they had little control at work, according to Agardh. 'We have only found the link between a lack of control at work and diabetes in women. I can't yet explain why this link exists for women and not men,' she said.
The Australian
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,12265708%255E23289,00.html

NATIONAL HEALTH CARE TREDNS
National health spending growth is anticipated to remain stable at just over 7.0 percent through 2006, the result of diverging public- and private-sector spending trends. The faster public-sector spending growth is exemplified by the introduction of the new Medicare drug benefit in 2006. While this benefit is anticipated to have only a minor impact on overall health spending, it will result in a significant shift in funding from private payers and Medicaid to Medicare. By 2014, total health spending is projected to constitute 18.7 percent of gross domestic product, from 15.3 percent in 2003. 
http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/reprint/hlthaff.w5.74v1

***RECENT CASES

ATTORNEY ETHICS
When respondent's 30-year history of client disservice, including several prior suspensions, reprimands, and the appointment of a proctor, is combined with the violations in these matters, involving case dismissals and misrepresentations to clients, he has forfeited the right and privilege to practice law and is disbarred.
In the Matter of Richard J. Zeitler 
http://lawlibrary.rutgers.edu/decisions/supreme/d-162-03.opn.html

26 WEEK RULE - ATTORNEY'S FEES
The 26-week period from certain specified events within which an employer must make a voluntary tender of permanent disability to an employee injured at work in order to receive the benefit of a reduced contribution toward the employee's attorneys' fee is a bright-line rule; where, as here, the employer does not make the tender within that time, it may not receive the statutory benefit; the substantial-compliance doctrine is inapplicable to this statutory benefit. 
Gorman v. Waters & Bugbee, Inc. 
http://lawlibrary.rutgers.edu/decisions/appellate/a2550-03.opn.html

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Calendar:

2nd ANNUAL HOT TOPICS IN WORKERS' COMPENSATION
March 8, 2005 4-8pm, Law Center, New Brunswick, NJ
http://www.njicle.com/cgi-bin/njicle?SessionID=37&doc=/Seminars/WC_3-8-05.htm

WEST VIRGINIA TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION
Workers' Compensation Section
April 1, 2005, The Homestead, Hot Springs, Virginia
Workers' Compensation Recoveries While Navigating the Treacherous Waters of The Medicare Secondary Payer Act
http://www.vtla.com/

25th ANNUAL NATIONAL WORKERS' COMPENSATION AND OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE CONFERENCE JULY 2005
July 19-21, 2005, Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
-Managing Workers' Compensation Claims While Navigating the Treacherous Waters of the Medicare Secondary Payer Act
-Trial Demonstration: The Contested Hearing Loss Case
http://www.seak.com/semjul05WC.htm

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