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May 23, 2004 11:00 AM
Workers' Compensation News - May 26, 2004 Volume 2 Issue 22

 FRUSTRATIONS OF 9-11 VICTIMS SEEKING WORKERS' COMPENSATION
Many Who Served on 9/11 Are Still Pressing Fight for Workers' Compensation
It is in places like Judge Mark Solomon's workers' compensation courtroom in Brooklyn that lingering questions about the health consequences of the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center are fought over day after day.
Workers take seats at one end of the dark wood table in front of Judge Solomon, their hands jittery, their ankles crossed nervously. Flanked by lawyers, they struggle to explain how they became sick, and in some cases unable to work, because of what happened in the days and weeks after the twin towers collapsed.
NY Times 5.13.04
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/13/nyregion/13comp.html?ei=1&en=57dc3cfc20e38c4a&ex=1085446132&pagewanted=print&position=

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WCRI RELEASES REPORT ON IOWA
Higher maximum weekly benefit levels for injured workers and stable costs for employers have set Iowa’s workers’ compensation system apart from other states. However, the Iowa system was not without areas for improvement, according to a new study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).
http://www.wcrinet.org/media_release_5_11_04.html

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ARTHRITIS
Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States and its prevalence is expected to increase as the U.S. population ages
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5318a2.htm

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JOB LOSSES ERODE UNION MEMBERSHIP
Ongoing layoffs and the anti-union posture of the Bush administration are slicing union membership. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released new data on union membership for 2003, documenting the ongoing decline in private sector unionization. The number of workers who are union members fell by 369,000 to 15.8 million. 
http://laborresearch.org/story2.php/347

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LEAD PAINT
Independent contractor barred from recovery under "exclusion" provision in policy.
Linda M. Heringer, Appellant, v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, et al., Respondent, WD62995, Mo. App. West. Div., 05/04/2004
http://www.osca.state.mo.us/courts/pubopinions.nsf/e53581bdd14e64858625661f004bc8fd/333e6f0be048114e86256e89005e7c0a?OpenDocument

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WELDING ROD LITIGATION - VERDICT
Pennsylvania Jury Returns Verdict Against Welding Rod Defendants 
In just the third known verdict against welding rod manufacturers, a Pennsylvania jury today awarded former welder Thomas Yencho $500,000 against BOC (Airco) and Lincoln Electric Co., finding that the welding companies negligently exposed Yencho to defective products that caused his lung cancer (Thomas J. Yencho and Reena Yencho v. A.W. Chesterton Inc. et al., No. 2003-0884, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).

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RATES
N.Y. Businesses 'Stunned' by 29% Comp Rate Hike Bid
A recommendation from the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board (CIRB) to increase employers' average workers' compensation premiums by 29 percent is "stunning and frightening," according to Business Council of New York President Daniel B. Walsh.
Insurance Journal
http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/east/2004/05/21/42457.htm

Calif Modest workers’ comp rate cuts expected
California’s largest workers’ compensation insurer will offer only modest premium cuts in July.
Desert Sun
http://www.thedesertsun.com/news/stories2004/business/20040520224929.shtml

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