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Workers' Compensation News - September 10, 2005, Volume 3 Issue 311

FRAGRANCE AND FLAVOR INDUSTRY HIT WITH $15 MILLION VERDICT Jury Awards $15 Million in Making of Popcorn -This self regulated industry becomes prime target.
A jury on Friday awarded a former popcorn-plant worker $15 million after finding that his exposure to butter-flavoring fumes led to his severe respiratory problems.

The 2005 Rutgers Lacrosse / Nancy Gelman Tournament for Breast Cancer

On Saturday, October 22, 2005, 5 nationally ranked teams played at Rutgers University in a tournament to raise money for breast cancer research. Proceeds of the tournament benefited the Nancy R. Gelman Foundation, Inc, for its goal in supporting new treatments to fight breast cancer. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee is now considering proposed Federal legislation that will have significant impact upon Workers' Compensation systems throughout the United States. Since the enactment of workers' compensation legislation decades ago, asbestos and other latent disease claims continue to be an enormous challenge to compensation programs.

Workers' Compensation News - August 24, 2005, Volume 3 Issue 310

NJ: WC JUDGES HAVE DISCRETION TO RULE ON VALIDITY OF A TDB LIEN. In a complex decision involving causal relationship, apportionment of liability and reimbursement of a TDB lien that Appellate Division responded to a statement made by the trial Judge, "...I am no longer a Judge, I am a statutory collection agency for the Labor Department," by reversing his decision and remanding the matter for hearing.

Workers' Compensation News - August 10, 2005, Volume 3 Issue 309

Esther Weissman, 73, labor lawyer, helped to alter compensation law.

On July 11, 2005, CMS published a new set of Questions and Answers concerning the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (MSP). In the 7 page document CMS indicated that there was no substantive dollar or "safe harbor" threshold for compliance with the federal mandate which requires review of all potential settlements in workers' compensation cases. 

Workers' Compensation News - July 10, 2005, Volume 3 Issue 308

WORKERS' COMPENSATION CLAIM FREQUENCY DOWN. NCCI announced that the decline in claim frequency continued through 2004. Over the last five years there have been significant declines for all types on injuries. However medical costs continues to be the leading driver of costs. The medical share of total workers' compensation costs has now risen to 55% countrywide and in some states is approaching 70%. 

Workers' Compensation News - June 10, 2005, Volume 3 Issue 307

CMS TO ISSUE NEW MEDICARE SECONDARY PAYER GUIDANCE. Under mounting pressure from many organized groups, CMS (The Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services) has indicated that it will shortly release a new set of "Questions and Answers" in order to, yet again, redefine its procedures. 

Workers' Compensation News - May 23, 2005, Volume 3 Issue 306

NY WORKERS' COMPENSATION RATES. New York Rates: Follow the Bouncing Ball. New York is famous for being a high cost state for workers compensation. By any reasonable measure, New York falls within the top four states for high comp cost, sharing the dubious spotlight with California, Texas and Florida 

Workers' Compensation News - May 10, 2005 Volume 3 Issue 305

Cancer Reported as the Leading Cause of Job Fatalities in the World - New Report Reveals That Medicare is Covering $23 Billion in Medical Costs That Should be Paid by Workers' Compensation 

Stress in the Workplace: The Availability of Workers' Compensation Benefits

Compensability for occupational diseases has become commonplace in most, if not all, jurisdictions throughout the country; however, the majority of claims filed allege physical rather than mental disability. The California Workers' Compensation Institute recently published their study of mental stress claims which indicated an increase of 430 percent in the number of claims filed from 1980 to 1986. 

Workers' Compensation News - April 4, 2005 Volume 3 Issue 304

OWENS CORNING'S ASBESTOS LIABILITIES SET AT $7 BILLION BY FEDERAL JUDGE
OC's asbestos liability put at $7 billion by U.S. Judge. Choosing a midpoint between estimates of opposing creditor groups, a federal judge has ruled that Owens Corning is exposed to $7 billion in potential claims by people who were made sick by exposure to asbestos insulation produced by the firm until the early 1970s. 

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 

Workers' Compensation News - February 3, 2005 Volume 3 Issue 302

2nd Annual THIS YEAR IN WORKERS’ COMP: TOP 10 ISSUES & CASES - Tues., Mar. 8, 2005
A panel of state and national experts address 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 Workers' Compensation Benefits Increase in 2005

 Workers’ compensation benefits increased to a maximum of $666.00 per week in 2005 from the 2004 weekly benefit of $650. payable in 2003. Injured workers receive these benefits while they are out of work and under authorized medical care. Temporary workers’ compensation benefits are based upon the state average weekly wage (SAWW). The temporary workers’ compensation rate is set at 75% of the SAWW. Since 1980 benefits have risen each year. Workers’ Compensation benefits are not subject to Federal income tax.

Workers' Compensation News - January 5, 2005 Volume 3 Issue 301

New Report Reveals That Medicare is Covering $23 Billion in Medical Costs That Should be Paid by Workers' Compensation --$4.2 Billion Halliburton Asbestos Settlement Given Final Approval by Court -- Recent Court Decisions: Dinner Not A Deviation from Employment (NJ Supreme Court) -- Remicade linked to severe hepatic reactions, including acute liver failure, jaundice, hepatitis and cholestasis. -- 2nd Annual This Year in Workers' Compensation - The Top Issues and Cases - March 8, 2005 -- Medicare Secondary Payer Act - Waivers and Compromises CMS -- Social Security Announces 2.7 Percent Benefit Increase for 2005 Monthly Social Security and Supplemental -- FDA Statement on the Halting of a Clinical Trial of the Cox-2 Inhibitor Celebrex  

Workers' Compensation News - December 1, 2004 Volume 2 Issue 242

U.S. Department of Labor Assumes Responsibility For a New Energy Workers’ Compensation Program --2nd Annual Seminar: This Year in Workers' Compensation - The Top Issues and Cases-California Injured Workers File A Class Action to Keep Their Physicians --New Warning Issued for Remicade --Occupational Carcinogens Listed --CMS Assist (tm) Announced at NOSSCR Disability Law Conference  

OSHA Identifies 585 NJ Workplaces with Highest Injury and Illness Rates

The Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health has alerted approximately 13,000 employers throughout the country that their injury and illness rates are significantly higher than the national average and encourages them to take steps to address safety and health hazards in the workplace.

Workers' Compensation News - November 2, 2004 Volume 2 Issue 240

Beneficiary Automated Status and Inquiry System -The Beneficiary Automated Status and Inquiry System (BASIS) is available to participants of the Voluntary Data Sharing Agreement (VDSA) program. The BASIS allows you to make on-line Medicare entitlement queries to CMS’ Enrollment Data Base (EDB) to determine if an individual is a Medicare beneficiary and if so, obtain available entitlement information. The BASIS serves as a useful tool when you have a need to know specific information during the interval between quarterly file exchanges.

OSHA Identifies Hazards and Risks of World Trade Center 911 Worksite

 A green line, painted around the perimeter of the World Trade Center (WTC) site, defined the recovery area. Within and around this boundary, OSHA worked for 10 months with its partners in safety and health to protect the well-being of workers on the site. Within that space, no workers lost their lives in the recovery effort that followed the tragedy of September 11, 2001.

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