Workers' Compensation News - June 16, 2004 Volume 2 Issue 24 CompAssist (tm)

NEW 2ND INJURY FUND PROCEDURES--Notice to the Bar - June 7, 2004--Effective immediately the Division of Workers’ Compensation will no longer require that a Motion to Yoin the Second Injury Fund be filed and an Order of Joinder be entered. The Second Injury Fund Application and Verified Petition properly filed pursuant_to 14A5-95.l is sufficient to join the Fund in a Workers’ Compensation case.

Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS] Issues the Secondary Claim Development Questionnaire

 The Secondary Claim Development (SCD) Questionnaire is a Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) questionnaire that is sent to obtain information about other insurers that may pay before Medicare. The SCD is mailed when a claim is submitted to Medicare with an explanation of benefits (EOB) attached, a self-report is made by you or your attorney identifying an MSP situation, or a third party payer submits MSP information to a contractor, or the Coordination of Benefits (COB) Contractor. 

Workers' Compensation News - June 9, 2004 Volume 2 Issue 23 CompAssist (tm)

 MEDICAL GUIDELINES IN WC CASES APPROVED BY TEXAS SP CT--"In this opinion, we conclude that the Legislature authorized TWCC to set upper limits on reimbursement amounts and establish a reasonable time limitation on requests for medical dispute resolution

Worker Health Chartbook 2004 Issued by NIOSH

NIOSH has prepared the Worker Health Chartbook 2004 as a resource for agencies, organizations, employers, researchers, workers, and others who need to know about occupational injuries and illnesses. This concise, chart-based document consolidates information from the network of tracking systems that forms the cornerstone of injury and illness surveillance in the United States.

Serzone Removed From The Market After Allegations It Causes Liver Failure and Death

We are now investigating claims involving Serzone® (nefazodone), an old line anti-depressant drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1994. Last week, drug maker Bristol-Myers, Squib Co. announced it would pull this drug off the market with distribution to end on June 14. Even though Bristol-Myers blamed lagging sales as the reason, the facts are that Serzone® is blamed for dozens of cases of liver toxicity, resulting in liver failure, death or transplantation.

Indoor Mold, Building Dampness Linked to Respiratory Problems and Require Better Prevention

Scientific evidence links mold and other factors related to damp conditions in homes and buildings to asthma symptoms in some people with the chronic disorder, as well as to coughing, wheezing, and upper respiratory tract symptoms in otherwise healthy people, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. However, the available evidence does not support an association between either indoor dampness or mold and the wide range of other health complaints that have been ascribed to them, the report says. Given the frequent occurrence of moisture problems in buildings and their links to respiratory problems, excessive indoor dampness should be addressed through a broad range of public health initiatives and changes in how buildings are designed, constructed, and maintained, said the committee that wrote the report. 

The following is a Momorandum issued by Peter J. Calderone, Director and Chief Judge of the NJ Division of Workers' Compensation. It was issued on May 3, 2004.

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.

Report to Congress on Workers' Home Contamination Study

In 1992, the U.S. Congress passed the Workers' Family Protection Act (Public Law 102-522, 29 U.S.C. 671), which requested that the CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety And Health (NIOSH) conduct a study to "evaluate the potential for, prevalence of, and issues related to the contamination of workers' homes with hazardous chemicals and substances...transported from the workplaces of such workers."

Workers' Compensation News - May 12, 2004 Volume 2 Issue 20 CompAssist (tm)

Asbestos: Federal Mediation Fails to Reach Accord. AIA remains committed to meaningful reform of deeply flawed litigation system. The following statement is in response to the end of negotiations over legislation to establish a national asbestos victims compensation trust fund (S. 2290). The negotiations were mediated by retired Federal Judge Edward Becker. This statement should be attributed to Robert E. Vagley, president of the American Insurance Association (AIA) 

Workers' Compensation News - May 5, 2004 Volume 2 Issue 19

CMS/MSP New Address --  New Address for Receipt of Workers’ Compensation Medicare Set-aside Arrangement (WCMSA) Proposals (and all subsequently requested documents) for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Review. 

Handling Employment Law Cases

 Employers can be sued for more than employment discrimination, whistleblowing or breach of contract. Causes of action that have been brought against employers range from assault and battery to defamation and intentional infliction of emotional stress. In order to successfully litigate an employment tort claim, you need to be aware of the elements of various tort actions and understand the potential impact of workers’ compensation laws and insurance and indemnification issues.  Presented in cooperation with the NJSBA Labor & Employment Law Section 

Study Shows Millions of Working Americans Have No Health Coverage, Suffer Health Gaps as a Result

 A comprehensive analysis of government data shows that a significant number of working Americans in every state do not have health care coverage, with at least 20 million working Americans not having coverage. In six states, at least one in five working adults is uninsured. In 38 other states, at least one working adult in every 10 does not have health insurance. The report further reveals that in every state, adults who do not have health insurance experience significant gaps in medical care compared to those who do. 

Workers' Compensation News - April 28, 2004 Volume 2 Issue 18

Statement by OSHA Administrator John Henshaw On Worker Memorial Day 2004. "Today is Worker Memorial Day, a day to pay tribute to the men and women who have lost their lives on the job. We mourn with their families and friends, and we recognize that the loss of these very special people extends beyond the home; the loss is felt in schools, places of worship, at social gatherings, in local communities, and throughout the entire nation.

Workers' Compensation News - April 14, 2004 Volume 2 Issue 16

ASBESTOS-Take a look at USAction's new cartoon, “Halliburton's Doggone Good Deal.” First war profiteering, now an asbestos bailout scheme orchestrated by a company with oh-so-close relations to the White House.  

Workers' Compensation News - April 21, 2004 Volume 2 Issue 17 CompAssist (tm)

DEATH BY WORK. Occupational diseases of the 21st century will be heart attacks, suicide and strokes. Hazards editor Rory O'Neill looks at why so many of us are being worked into the ground. 

Analysis of New California Workers' Compensation Legislation

 Workers' compensation, implemented in California in 1913, is a no-fault system, entitling workers to compensation for illness or injury arising out of and in the course of work duties, regardless of the blame which might otherwise be placed on the employer or the employee. The workers' compensation system is premised on a bargain between employers and employees: employees are supposed to receive benefits for on-the-job injuries and, in return, the benefits are the exclusive remedy for injured employees against their employer, even when the employer negligently caused the injury.

Acute trauma at work remains a leading cause of death and disability among U.S. workers

 During the period from 1980 through 1995, at least 93,338 workers in the U.S. died as a result of trauma suffered on the job, for an average of about 16 deaths per day (NIOSH). The Bureau of Labor Statistics (Department of Labor) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) has identified 5,915 workplace deaths from acute traumatic injury in 2000. BLS also estimates that 5.7 million injuries to workers occurred in 1997 alone; while NIOSH estimates that about 3.6 million occupational injuries were serious enough to be treated in hospital emergency rooms in 1998. 

NIOSH: Leading Cause of Occupational Fatalities in US are Roadway Crashes

From 1992 through 2001, roadway crashes were the leading cause of occupational fatalities in the U.S., accounting for 13,337 civilian worker deaths (22% of all injury-related deaths).

Workers' Compensation News - April 7, 2004 Volume 2 Issue 15 CompAssist (tm)

UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE COVERAGE. Firms watch health-care fight - California battle on insurance fans fear of mandates.  A battle under way in California may foreshadow whether businesses in Illinois and around the country will be forced to offer employee health insurance.

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