Difficulties and Questions Presented by the Board’s New Digital Audio Recordings

Since the inception of the statewide virtual hearing platform in March of this year, there have been many concerns over the efficiency and effectiveness of the new hearing process. One of the major concerns has been whether there will be a clear, concise, and easily accessible record of workers’ compensation hearings. The virtual hearing platform brought with it a digital audio recording system that records all workers’ compensation hearings verbatim.
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Maryland Courts Affirm that the Average Weekly Wage Will Not be Liberally Construed

The Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act is to be liberally construed in favor of the claimant. However, there are boundaries, one of which is the computation of a claimant’s average weekly wage as the Court of Special Appeals articulated in Stine v. Montgomery County, 237 Md.App. 374 (2018). In Stine, the claimant was working as a volunteer emergency medical technician (EMT) for Montgomery County while studying as a nursing student. On
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“You Can’t Get There From Here”: Maine Supreme Court Says Compelling Medical Marijuana Coverage Conflicts with Federal Law

Recently, the Maine Supreme Court issued a decision that surprised workers’ compensation professionals across the country. In Bourgoin v. Twin Rivers, 2018 ME 77, 2018 WL 2976309 (June 14, 2018), the court decided that a workers’ compensation carrier cannot be compelled to subsidize a claimant’s medicinal marijuana treatment. In that case, the claimant received a certification under the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act (MMUMA) for the use of medicinal
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Know Your Client’s Special Preferences

For controverted workers’ compensation claims in New York, the issue of general versus special employment can be raised by your client as a defense to liability. The issue of general versus special employment usually arises in circumstances when the claimant is hired and paid by one employer but works at the location and under the direction of another employer. For instance, a claimant who works for a temporary staffing agency
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Cross-Border Implications of the Canadian Cannabis Act in New York Workers’ Compensation Law

The rapid evolution of both medical and recreational marijuana creates unique issues for employers and insurers. Although this may be a statement of the obvious, it is especially true in New York, a state which shares a 445-mile border with Canada. Recreational marijuana may soon be legal in Canada, after its Legislature approved the Cannabis Act in June of this year. The proposed law would make it legal for anyone
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Got Insurance? What You Need to Know if You Are An Uninsured Employer in New Jersey

Under New Jersey law, every corporation, limited partnership, as well as any employer required by law to submit an annual report, must provide valid proof of workers’ compensation coverage as part of its annual report. There are two ways that an employer can demonstrate valid proof of workers’ compensation coverage. An employer can either show proof of having coverage with an insurance carrier or by being self-insured. A self-insured employer
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Settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice on outstanding conditional Medicare payments is a stark reminder to look before you leap when settling a claim.

On June 18, 2018, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a press release regarding a settlement involving claims that a personal injury law firm failed to properly reimburse conditional medical payments to Medicare. This press release is a stern warning that Medicare is required, by statute, to seek reimbursement for conditional payments made as a secondary payer — and it will. See 42 U.S.C. Section 1395y (6). Conditional
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“New York State of Mind”- Altering Substances: Carriers Must Now Reimburse Claimants for Medical Marijuana

On June 4, 2018, the New York Workers’ Compensation Board in Our Lady Victory of Homes officially directed a carrier to reimburse a claimant for medical marijuana expenses. G085 6672, 2018 WL 2752819 (N.Y. Work. Comp. Bd. June 4, 2018). This decision has been in the making since February of this year, when the board panel found in WDF Inc. that reimbursement is proper if the medical provider requests a
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Minor Issues When A Minor Gets Injured At Work

While not very common, if a minor is hired and then injured on the job, the trajectory of this particular compensation claim will be slightly different than the typical workers’ compensation claim. The most significant difference is that a penalty will be imposed against the employer if the employment of the minor is found to be illegal by the Workers’ Compensation Board. Workers’ Compensation Law Section 14-a governs compensation issues
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Podcast: Trucking Workers’ Compensation Claims

Ben Greenberg, a partner in our Raleigh office, joins the show to discuss how trucking companies and insurance carriers can effectively prepare for workers’ compensation claims. Ben first explains how an aging truck driver population and commercial driver shortage have resulted in an increase in significant workers’ compensation claims in the trucking industry. He then addresses important proactive measures, such as telematics and forward-facing fleet cameras, companies can take to avoid
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