Category Archives: Uncategorized

Federal Regulators Link Workers’ Comp Failures To Income Inequality

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

A few hours after ProPublica and NPR issued the first in a series of reports about workers’ compensation "reforms" sweeping the country, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration coincidentally released a paper linking workplace injuries to income inequality.

The OSHA paper and ProPublica/NPR stories come to similar conclusions about how some injured workers have been affected by a decade of changes in workers’ compensation laws, including cutbacks in benefits and more difficulty in getting benefits.

But OSHA goes on to say that many injured workers and their families find themselves in "a trap which leaves them less able to save for the future or to make the investments in skills and education that provide the opportunity for advancement."

Among the paper’s other major points:

  • On average, injured workers earn $31,000 or 15 percent less in the 10 years following a workplace injury
  • Employers pay only 21 percent of the costs of workplace injuries through workers’ compensation. Families end up bearing 50 percent of the costs and taxpayers pay 16 percent when workers resort to food stamps or Social Security Disability.
  • With employers not bearing the full costs, which OSHA characterizes as a subsidy, the incentive to provide a safe workplace is undermined.
  • Fewer than 40 percent of eligible injured workers apply for workers’ compensation benefits.
  • In California, 1/3 of workers with reported amputations at work did not receive workers’ compensation…

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Lawsuit aims to ban swimming with manatees in Florida

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

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Jan. 15, 2014: A manatee calf nurses from its mother inside of the Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River, Florida.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is about to be sued over an animal that isn’t exactly “endangered.”

ECO-LAWSUIT: The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a Washington, D.C.-based group, wants several tough new restrictions on human activity in manatee areas.

The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, filed an Intent to Sue notice this week accusing the federal agency of mistreating “the endangered Florida manatee.”

PEER, which last month sued FWS to stop dirt bike and off-road vehicle noise and air pollution in California, says the agency is “facilitating significant physical harassment” of manatees by allowing the public to swim with the animals in the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge.

The Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1983, and it’s the only refuge created specifically for the protection of the Florida manatee, according to FWS.

By issuing special-use permits to local dive shops that lead manatee swim tours, PEER says the environmental agency is harming the animals.

The effort has the appearance of an overreaction. Natural events such as cold water and toxic red-tides have done far more to harm manatees in recent years than human contact. In the overlapping period, the animals have made…

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Mahwah man can pursue suit against Finkelstein & Partners law firm

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

Mahwah man can pursue suit against Finkelstein & Partners law firm

By KATHLEEN LYNN

STAFF WRITER | 

The Record

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* Cites overcharges in slip-and-fall case

A Mahwah man’s lawsuit claiming that his lawyers overcharged him in a personal-injury case can move forward under a recent court ruling — though one of the original defendants, the well-known law firm Jacoby & Meyers, has been let off the hook.

Jeffrey Harding of Mahwah and his 80-year-old mother, Nancy Harding of Rockland County, hired lawyers with ties to Jacoby & Meyers, a New York company known for its television commercials, to file two slip-and-fall lawsuits on their behalf.

Nancy Harding hired Finkelstein & Partners of Newburgh, N.Y., after she suffered an injury at a Suffern, N.Y., tile business, and Jeffrey Harding, who had a separate case, hired Andrew Finkelstein of Finkelstein & Partners.

The Finkelstein firm shares many office locations and staff with Jacoby & Meyers, according to a lawsuit filed by the Hardings after their slip-and-fall cases were settled.

In their lawsuit, both Nancy and Jeffrey Harding claimed that the lawyers overcharged them by adding fees for services from a company, Total Trial Solutions, which was partly owned by their lawyers. Those fees were in addition to the regular attorneys’ fees of 33 percent of the amount recovered, the Hardings said in their lawsuit, which named Jacoby & Meyers, Finkelstein & Partners, Total Trial Solutions, and…

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The workers’ compensation system is broken — and it’s driving people into poverty

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

There’s a good news/bad news situation for occupational injuries in the United States: Fewer people are getting hurt on the job. But those who do are getting less help.

That’s according to a couple of important new reports out Wednesday on how the system for cleaning up workplace accidents is broken — both because of the changing circumstances of the people who are getting injured, and the disintegration of programs that are supposed to pay for them.

The first comes from the Department of Labor, which aims to tie the 3 million workplace injuries reported per year — the number is actually much higher, because many workers fear raising the issue with their employers — into the ongoing national conversation about inequality. In an overview of research on the topic, the agency finds that low-wage workers (especially Latinos) have disproportionately high injury rates, and that injuries can slice 15 percent off a person’s earnings over 10 years after the accident.

“Income inequality is a very active conversation led by the White House,” David Michaels, director of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, said in an interview. “Injuries are knocking many families out of the middle class, and block many low-wage workers from getting out of poverty. So we think it’s an important component of this conversation.”

There are two main components to the financial implications of a workplace injury. The first is the legal…

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Shelby County teen’s alleged murder sparks $10 million wrongful death lawsuit

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

The alleged murder of Cameron McGlothan, 19, in 2013 has sparked a lawsuit against a security company and the developer of a north Shelby County subdivision. 

The family of a teen who was allegedly murdered in March 2013 has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a security company and developer of a north Shelby County subdivision for allowing the two suspects in the case to enter the gated community and abduct the victim.

The parents of Cameron McGlothan filed a lawsuit in Shelby County Circuit Court last Friday that seeks $10 million for the wrongful death of their son against Walden Security Inc. and Eddleman Properties Inc.

In the lawsuit, Dawn and Ernest McGlothan accuse the two companies of failing to follow policies and procedures by allowing the two men, who were later charged with murder in the case, to enter the Highland Lakes subdivision on Highway 41 and abduct the 19-year-old.

The lawsuit alleges the guard station operated by Walden at Highland Lakes’ entrance did not get proper identification from Justin Hamilton and Demarcus Samuels, both of whom have been charged with capital murder in the case.

The two suspects provided incorrect names to guards while video equipment at the gate did not accurately record their vehicle’s tag number, which caused a delay in their identification, according to the lawsuit.

The McGlothans accuse the companies of breach of contract, negligence, wrongful death and negligent training and supervision, according to the lawsuit filed…

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Lawsuit: SRC violated former teachers’ rights

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

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THREE RETIRED Philadelphia School District teachers have filed a federal lawsuit against the School Reform Commission, former chair Bill Green, the city and other parties for allegedly violating their constitutional rights during an SRC meeting.

The trio – Ilene Poses, Lisa Haver and Barbara Dowdall – say the violations occurred during a Feb. 18 meeting at which commissioners voted on charter-school applications, according to the suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia. The plaintiffs are members of the advocacy group Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools.

The Feb. 18 meeting was contentious, with four people arrested on disorderly-conduct charges, and the plaintiffs were not allowed to display signs opposing new charter-school approvals, the suit says.

Representatives from charter operator KIPP, however, were allowed to distribute and wear T-shirts in support of KIPP schools, the suit says.

The suit also claims that a school police officer named as a defendant, John Augustine, illegally went into Haver’s shopping bag without permission and swiped all the protest signs inside.

"Without cause or justification, and at least in part in retaliation for the exercise of the plaintiff’s First Amendment rights and to chill the exercise of those rights, the defendants seized the plaintiffs, confiscated their signs and violated the plaintiffs’ liberty interests," the suit says.

A school district spokeswoman said the district would not comment on…

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Barking dog could cost Seattle family their home

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

Like bullies and illnesses, lawsuits can be ignored, but they won’t go away. Denise Norton learned this valuable lesson the hard way this week when she found out that a lawsuit she has tried to ignore could wind up costing Norton her North Seattle home.

Her neighbor Woodrow Thompson filed a lawsuit alleging that the sound of barking from Norton’s dog, Cawper, was intentionally causing him “profound emotional distress.” In his detailed, 36-page complaint, Thompson claimed that the canine’s “raucously, wildly bellowing, howling and explosively barking” was capable of reaching 128 decibels. For context, the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration — the Labor Department agency tasked with enforcing safe working conditions — says a person should not be exposed to a noise of 115 decibels for more than 15 minutes a day. That said, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Noise Meter, Thompson’s claim would mean that Cawper’s bark is louder than an ambulance siren and just slightly softer than a jet engine at takeoff.

“In my head, everything was so bogus that he’d been doing, I don’t know why, I just didn’t think it was real or something,” Norton told the local ABC News affiliate, KOMO-TV. That’s why, even when she was served with papers, Norton simply didn’t respond.

Unfortunately for Norton, however, the suit was very real, and because…

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The Human Cost of the Military’s Toxic Burn Pits

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

Today’s post is shared from medium.com and is authored by Matthew Gault.

Jason Dawson joined the Marines in 2003 and went to Iraq in 2006. He deployed to Al Asad air base in Anbar province where he was part of a crash, fire and rescue team.

When his tour finished, he stayed and became a civilian contractor—a firefighter.

He liked the pay and the work, but he didn’t like the burn pits. Al Asad maintained a large, open-air ditch filled with burning garbage. It’s how the base disposed of all its waste.

“Some mornings I remember waking up … and I could smell the burn pits,” he says.

Dawson stayed in Al Asad for three years, and the whole time he dealt with toxic fumes. Since coming home, he’s developed several mysterious health problems doctors can’t seem to diagnose.

Dawson—who is a personal friend—is not alone. Thousands of returning soldiers and civilians reported various health problems after coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. Many suspect prolonged exposure to the burn pits are the cause.

What didn’t help is that the military’s efforts to clean up the burn pits were half-hearted at best, and negligent at worst. That’s the conclusion of a new report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

In the report, the congressionally-mandated watchdog details taxpayer cash wasted trying to close the Pentagon’s burn pits.

But worse than the monetary waste is how…

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