Missing Check: The Status of the Law

Oftentimes, when parties in a workers’ compensation matter agree to settle or when the claimant is entitled to certain indemnity benefits, the carrier sends payment to the claimant by mailing a check to an address provided by the claimant. There are situations, though, when the check goes missing or is stolen, perhaps in transit or at the address provided by the claimant. This begs the question – what are the
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Paying for Claimants’ Attorney Fees is the Exception to the Rule in D.C.

The D.C. Court of Appeals was recently presented with the opportunity to weigh in on the prerequisites for ordering employers and insurers to pay for claimants’ litigation fees and costs in workers’ compensation claims. In the case of Kelly v. D.C. Dep’t of Employment Servs., No. 18-AA-13, 2019 WL 4073672 (D.C. Aug. 29, 2019), the court refused to require the employer and insurer to bear the cost of the claimant’s
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Special Funds Liability Under the Board’s Special Funds Group

It has become apparent over the recent years that the New York Workers’ Compensation Board, along with the Special Funds Group, will go to great lengths to resolve themselves of liability for outstanding claims under NY WCL Section 25(a), as well as 15(8), particularly in consequential death claims. Under the 2007 reforms, the then-Second Injury Fund was closed to new claims with dates of injury on or after July 1,
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Expanded Provider Legislation; Implications for Insurance Carriers

As part of Gov. Cuomo’s 2019-20 executive budget, a new law was passed expanding the types of medical providers that can apply to be authorized to treat injured workers under the New York State Workers’ Compensation System. The law will be effective January 1, 2020. Prior to the legislation taking effect, only physicians, chiropractors, podiatrists, and psychologists could apply to be board-authorized to treat injured workers while nurse practitioners (NPs),
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Due Process in the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation System

In an ideal workers’ compensation system, all parties would keep to the letter of the law. However, courts’ rules are oftentimes relaxed within our system and often not followed. In handling any New Jersey workers’ compensation claim petition, employers, employers’ attorneys and claims professionals must be diligent in making sure that employers’ fundamental rights are not violated by this relaxed approach. All parties, petitioners, and respondents have the right to
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North Carolina Court of Appeals Affirms Industrial Commission’s Denial of Bellwether Cases

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently affirmed the Industrial Commission’s denial of claims, collectively known as the bellwether cases, that constituted a small portion of 144 consolidated workers’ compensation claims. Specifically, Walter Hinson, decedent-employee, worked for Continental Tire the Americas at its factory in Charlotte, North Carolina. The decedent’s estate alleged that his employment exposed him to levels of harmful airborne asbestos sufficient to cause asbestos-related disease. In addition
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The Perils of Paragraph Three – Mind Your Step

When a case is resolved by way of a Compromise & Release (C&R), parties often believe that all pertinent issues (including claims of injury and body parts) have been disposed of in the settlement. This is because settlements will carefully delineate all of the body parts and claims that are being resolved in the written agreement. What do we make of the applicant who decides to file a subsequent claim
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Schedule Loss of Use Award or Classification? Litigation Trends Following Taher

On June 14, 2018, the Third Department of the New York State Appellate Division issued the decision Matter of Taher v. Yiota Taxi. In Taher, the Third Department addressed the question of whether a claimant may receive both a schedule loss of use (SLU) award and classification arising out of the same work-related injury at the time of permanency. Ultimately, the Third Department held that a claimant cannot receive both
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Recreational Marijuana and Workers’ Compensation: What Employers Need to Know

With the impending legalization of recreational marijuana in Illinois on January 1, 2020, employers are abuzz about the potential implications on their operations, particularly how legalization impacts alleged work injuries. Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, employees found intoxicated at the time of an accident are denied compensation if the intoxication was the proximate cause of the injury or if the employee was so intoxicated it constituted a departure from
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The Effect of Immigration on New York Workers’ Compensation

New York state has one of the largest undocumented immigrant populations in the nation, coming in fourth behind Texas, California, and Florida. According to the most recent study taken by Pew Research Center in 2016, 725,000 unauthorized immigrants lived in New York state. Although it is illegal for employers to hire immigrant workers who are not documented and authorized to work in the United States, whether it is intentional or
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