Category Archives: Uncategorized

Florida has a Large Percentage of Medicare’s top “Controlled-Drug” Prescribers

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from flojcc.blogspot.com

Today’s post is authored by Judge David Langham and shared from flojcc.blogspot.com/

A story was recently published on the WUSF website, Health News Florida. It says that the “prolific prescribers” of some medications are facing “Medicare scrutiny.”

A chart in the story reflects the distribution of 192 top prescribing medical providers in 12 states. Of these, 52, or 27% are located here in the Sunshine State. 

The article notes that in 2012, “Medicare covered nearly 27 million prescriptions for powerful narcotic painkillers and stimulants with the highest potential for abuse and dependence.” 

Despite efforts at addressing narcotic use, the article notes that this was a “9 percent” increase compared to 2011. 

Thankfully, though Florida has the largest volume of providers represented in this chart, the top prescriber is not in Florida. Dr. Shelinder Aggarwal of Huntsville, Alabama has that distinction. He prescribed “more than 14,000 Schedule 2 prescriptions in 2012.” This amounted to “more than 80 percent of his Medicare patients” receiving “at least one prescription for a Schedule 2 drug, in many cases oxycodone.”Apparently he is no longer a physician, the article notes he “surrendered his medical license” in 2013. 

The prescription practices are a “real area of concern” for the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to the director, quoted in the article. 

The article suggests that data in existing resources can…

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False-arrest lawsuit from 2012 dismissed

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.dispatch.com

A false-arrest lawsuit filed by an East Side man against the Franklin County sheriff’s office has been dismissed in federal court.

Antonio C. Morales sued the sheriff’s office, several deputies, the Columbus Division of Police and a police detective in 2012 after he was mistakenly arrested in 2011. Officers and deputies were looking for a man with the same first name, last name and middle initial on suspicion of sexual contact with a minor.

A police detective discovered the error after Morales had been jailed for five days.

Morales said in his lawsuit that his reputation had been harmed and asked for $1 million in punitive damages from each defendant. The case was thrown out and then appealed, and all but one defendant was dismissed.

At the same time, Morales’ attorney, Javier Armengau, was convicted in state court and sent to prison. Attempts by court officials to contact Morales failed, and the lawsuit was dismissed last week.

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Voters clearly want Congress to protect employees from unions. Here’s where it can start.

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.washingtonpost.com

Newt GingrichNewt Gingrich
Rick Berman

On Election Day, voters didn’t just rebel against President Obama. There was another pattern in the candidates they chose: Across the country, they picked pols who explicitly supported individual employee rights.

This wasn’t just a canned part of every Republican’s platform. Govs. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Rick Snyder of Michigan, for instance, both won reelection after pushing through significant employee-friendly reforms in their first terms. Even in deep-blue Illinois, Republican Bruce Rauner campaigned on a platform to give state employees the right to decide for themselves whether to join a union.

Pro-employee rights candidates now hold majorities in both the U.S. House and Senate, and it’s time for Congress to deliver the pro-employee agenda that has gained so much momentum in the states. Here’s how members can enhance employee rights in the workplace.

The best legislative vehicle for advancing those rights is the Employee Rights Act (ERA). Led by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), the ERA  has 29 co-sponsors in the Senate and more than  100 in the House. It’s the most significant rewrite of the National Labor Relations Act in decades, with a twist: Instead of the gridlock that comes with trying to rig labor law to benefit either unions or employers, it focuses squarely on the rights of the employees. (All of the law’s provisions can be viewed at EmployeeRightsAct.com.)

Take…

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Lawsuit filed in Macy’s restroom death

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.columbian.com

Woman’s family alleges employees were negligent

The family of a 61-year-old woman whose body was found in March inside a Macy’s department store restroom at the Westfield Vancouver mall has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

Family members of Lydumila I. Tikhomirova of Vancouver allege that Macy’s employees were negligent when they failed to check the women’s restroom before closing time March 9 at the department store at 8208 N.E. Vancouver Mall Drive. A Macy’s employee discovered the woman’s body inside the restroom the next day and called 911 shortly after 6 a.m.

An autopsy showed that Tikhomirova died of congestive heart failure, according to the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office.

"Defendants and defendants’ employees failed to check Macy’s bathroom before the store closed, thereby failing to discover Ms. Tikhomirova in a state of distress, and thereby preventing her from getting the treatment she required to prevent her death," according to the complaint, which was filed Thursday in Clark County Superior Court by Canadian law firm Cross Border Law Corp.

Kelley Tarzian, Macy’s spokesperson for Washington, said the corporation doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

The plaintiffs are Valeriya Tikhomirova, who represents Lydumila Tikhomirova’s estate, and Lydumila Tikhomirova’s children, Natalya Tikhomirova, Svetlana Kalacheva, Timofey Tikhomirova, Irina Yukhimets, Andrey Tikhomirova and Aleksandr Tikhomirova.

They seek damages in an unspecified amount, including…

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Former workers’ comp insider says agency sacrificing workers to save employers money

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.prairiebizmag.com

FARGO, N.D. — North Dakota has broken its promise to injured workers who rely on workers’ compensation, according to a lawyer who knows the system as a former insider now on the outside.

The bedrock legal promise of providing injured workers “sure and certain” relief in North Dakota has been sacrificed in the interest of saving employers money, Bismarck lawyer Dean Haas argues in an article in the current North Dakota Law Review.

“Employee safety has taken a backseat to saving employers’ money,” Haas wrote in the law review article. “This is evident in nearly every aspect of workers’ compensation in North Dakota.”

Workforce Safety & Insurance, the workers’ compensation program in North Dakota, did not respond in detail to questions prompted by Haas’ law review article.

“Workforce Safety & Insurance is committed to providing injured workers all the benefits they are entitled to receive,” Bryan Klipfel, WSI’s director, said in a statement. WSI did not make anyone available for an interview.

WSI is under the authority of Gov. Jack Dalrymple. A spokesman said the governor has not had a chance to read the law review article, and so was unable to comment by Friday afternoon.

WSI accepts 92 percent of claims, a rate Klipfel said exceeds the rate of similar states. That figure is for initial acceptance, indicating workers’ comp accepts liability, but ongoing claims involve numerous…

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DHS hit with immigration lawsuit

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.washingtonpost.com

Anibal Fuentes came to the United States illegally years ago, faced deportation proceedings in December and was ordered to leave the country. Now, he is among a group of people suing the Department of Homeland Security.

An advocacy group filed a lawsuit against DHS Wednesday, alleging that the agency failed to respond to a rulemaking petition filed in February that asked the agency to suspend deportations of undocumented workers and their families and expand the deferred action for childhood arrivals program. A number of people who came to the country illegally, including Fuentes, are plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

The National Day Laborer Organizing Network claims that the agency is in violation of the Federal Administrative Procedure Act. "DHS’s failure to respond constitutes an effective denial that is arbitrary, capricious and void of any legitimate explanation,” the group said in the lawsuit.

"What the law says is, they have to respond in a reasonable amount of time," said Jessica Karp Bansal, a staff attorney at NDLON. "In a case like this where peoples’ lives are at stake, nine months is clearly unreasonable."

The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to a request for comment on the suit.

The rulemaking petition was filed earlier this year as President Obama was mulling whether he should act alone on the issue. Fuentes and five other people who came to the United States illegally signed on. Now that the…

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Phoenix arson investigators named in civil-rights lawsuit

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.azcentral.com

Phoenix Fire Department
Phoenix Fire Department

(Photo: The Republic)

A 44-year-old man has filed a lawsuit against Phoenix alleging that Fire Department investigators violated his constitutional and civil rights in 2009 when he was indicted on suspicion of arson.

Carl Vincent Ball Caples, who now lives in Illinois, spent more than 14 months in a Maricopa County jail awaiting trial for allegedly setting fire to a home he shared with two other men near 19th Avenue and Union Hills Drive, according to the lawsuit. An arson expert hired by his then-defense attorney determined the blaze was an unintentional electrical fire.

Prosecutors dismissed the case against Caples the day his trial was set to begin.

His suit, filed Wednesday in Maricopa County Superior Court, alleges that the city failed to hire properly trained investigators, did not provide them with additional training and allowed them to use discredited investigation techniques. The suit also alleges that fire investigators approached investigations with a "preconceived idea of whether a fire was arson." Caples’ attorneys demanded that damage amounts be determined in a jury trial.

Phoenix spokeswoman Stephanie Romero could not immediately comment on the suit because she didn’t know whether the City Attorney’s Office had had time to review it.

The lawsuit also names former Phoenix Fire Chief Robert Khan, former Fire Marshal Jack Ballentine, and Capts. Sam Richardson, Fred Andes and William Nelson.

The lawsuit is the latest development…

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How a Coalition Pushed for a Hotel Workers’ Minimum Wage

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.nytimes.com

Most Sunday mornings last summer, Julia Gould set up a table at the Hollywood Farmers Market. Alongside stalls selling shiitake mushrooms, free-range poultry and orange-blossom honey, she was selling an idea: a $15.37-an-hour minimum wage for the city’s hotel workers — more than twice the federal minimum wage and one of the highest minimum wages in the nation.

As shoppers wandered past, Ms. Gould asked them to sign a petition calling on the Los Angeles City Council to approve the proposal. She also urged them to write on a whiteboard their reasons for supporting the higher wage. One shopper wrote that “to live a healthy life, you need a living wage,” while a woman carrying a Starbucks coffee scribbled that she supported the idea “because rent is expensive.”

A second community organizer photographed these shoppers and their hand-scrawled signs and then posted those pictures on Facebook and Twitter, steering them to Mitch O’Farrell, the City Council member who represents Hollywood. Mr. O’Farrell had questioned the wisdom of the $15.37 wage proposal, fearing that it would force hotels to lay off some of the city’s 17,000 hotel workers. “We were trying to show him that his constituents cared about this,” Ms. Gould said.

Her politicking was one small part of a campaign orchestrated by one of the nation’s leading advocacy groups for low-wage workers: the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, or Laane. Harold…

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