The Holidays are Over. Is Your Office Party Injury Compensable?

Employers throw annual parties for the employees to commemorate another successful year. Of course, once the music starts going and the drinks start flowing, the employers are left with an annual headache of a question – are employees that were injured in relation to these festivities covered under Workers’ Compensation? While compensability for office party injuries is a highly fact-intensive determination, claimants usually emerge victorious. Generally, even if the party
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Noise: How Much is Too Much?

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 22 million workers are exposed to potentially damaging noise at work each year. In 2017, employers paid $1.5 million in penalties for not protecting workers from noise. OSHA estimates approximately $242 million is spent on workers’ compensation claims for hearing loss. But how much noise is too much? When should you provide protection? And how in the world do you defend
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Admissibility and Disclosure of Social Media Information

Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Social media platforms have become useful sources for carrier investigation and surveillance of injured workers. Claimants utilize these social media platforms on a daily basis, posting a variety of photographs and videos. Often these photographs and videos contradict claimants’ allegations that they are “totally disabled” from performing any type of activity, allowing carriers and employers to raise fraud under Workers’ Compensation Law Section 114(a). Generally, in order
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Chemical Exposure Case!? Fear Not! You Are Not at the Mercy of the Claimant’s Physician

Imagine receiving a medical report from an oncologist that notes “myelodysplastic changes to chromosome 3 and chromosome 7.” Imagine further that you see such language as “cytogenetics” that reports “abnormal results,” or that both “monosomy 7 and fusion RPM 1/MECOM typically correlate with myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia.” Imagine further that this medical report is attached to a C-3 opening a claim for a causally-related occupationally acquired cancerous condition.
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Fruit of the Poisonous IME: Avoiding IME Preclusion

Independent medical examinations are often the only evidence a carrier can rely on when litigating medical issues. As much as avoiding a situation where an IME is precluded for not complying with the strict requirements of Section 137 is ideal, from time to time it happens, and it is best to have a plan for moving forward. If the medical issue is ongoing, such as degree of disability or need
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To Litigate? Or to Split? That is the Question

Some of the most commonly litigated issues in Workers’ Compensation include degree of temporary disability and permanency (classification or schedule loss of use). More often than not, treating doctors and IMEs do not agree on issues concerning degree of disability or schedule loss of use. The question then arises as to whether the parties should litigate the issue through depositions of the doctors, or whether attempts should be made to
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