Today’s post comes from guest author Charlie Domer, from The Domer Law Firm.
A Wisconsin investigative article just hit the news, showing the major issues faced with litigating work injury claims in the state. (Injured Wisconsin Workers Face Higher Hurdles When Seeking Compensation). The story highlights the unfortunate litigation process of one of Domer Law’s clients. I’d urge readers to review the article for the full details of that process.
Signigicantly, the story goes further in-depth into the appeals process of a Wisconsin litigated case. Following a hearing in front of an adminsitrative law judge, the losing party may appeal to the Labor and Industry Review Commission, or “LIRC.” This body consists of three political appointees, who essentially are the final decision-makers on worker’s compensation claims. The article highlights the alleged employer-friendly drift to decisions in recent years.
These articles are so important in revealing the human toll exerted by work injuries. While there are no pain and suffering damages under worker’s compensation law, that fact does not diminish the real physical, economic, and emotional toll felt by the injured worker and their family. That real world impact pushes us to keep fighting for the rights of workers each and every day.
Today’s post comes from guest author Leonard Jernigan, from The Jernigan Law Firm.
In April of 2007 Charles Robison, a worker for Texas-based West Star Transportation, suffered a traumatic brain injury after falling headfirst off an unevenly loaded flatbed trailer. At the time of the accident, West Star had “opted-out” of the Texas workers’ compensation system and forfeited its protection against negligence law suits by its employees.
Mr. Robison filed a lawsuit in January of 2009 against his employer, and a jury found that West Star’s negligence caused Mr. Robison’s injuries. He was awarded $5.3 million dollars in damages.
The judgment included: “$3.7 million for Mr. Robison’s past and future medical care, $1 million for past and future physical pain and mental anguish and $400,000 for Ms. Robison’s past and future loss of consortium, as well as additional payments for Mr. Robison’s loss of earning capacity and physical impairment.”
On January 23, 2015 a three-judge panel in the Texas 7th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the jury’s decision. Employers who want to be allowed to “opt-out” of workers’ compensation programs need to understand that one of the great benefits to the employer under workers’ compensation is the protection against civil law suits.
Original post by Sheena Harrison, writer for www.businessinsurance.com