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  • Late-Term Medical Costs Lower for Older Workers' Comp Claimants: NCCI

    Workers compensation claimants younger than 60 have higher medical claim costs for medical payments made 20 and 30 years after their initial injury compared with claimants who are age 60 or older, the National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. said Monday in a report. The average late-term medical cost for claimants born between 1951 and 1970 was $10,700, according to “The Impact of Claimant Age on Late-Term Medical Costs,” 64% higher than the average annual late-term medical cost of $6,500 for claimants born between 1920 and 1950. Click here to read more:

  • Family Will Not Collect $2.4 Million for Worker’s Death

    The family of a Florida construction worker who was killed by a 1-ton falling steel column cannot collect a $2.4 million judgment from his employer, a state appeals court ruled. Victor Lizarraga worked as a foreman for Metal Bilt, a subcontractor on a warehouse expansion project. His company worked on the 33-foot-tall steel columns that would support the building. The general contractor, R.L. Haines Construction, told the Metal Bilt employees to begin settling the steel columns after the epoxy had been drying for 44 hours, rather than the recommended 72 hours. Lizarraga was tightening a wire attached to one of the columns when the column fell on him and killed him. Link no longer available

  • Florida Workers’ Compensation Insurers Seek Bigger Rate Cut

    Florida’s workers’ compensation insurers, already on record recommending an average 2.5 percent cut in rates, now say that a 3.3 percent cut is justified. The modification in the industry’s rate filing by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) rating organization is the result of lower than expected hospital charges that could save insurers about 0.8 percent or $26 million. Click here to read more:

  • Dozens of Identity Theft and Workers’ Compensation Fraud Arrests at Collier County Business

    Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced that an investigation in Naples by the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud has revealed that as many as 146 employees of Fruit Dynamics, LLC, more commonly known as Incredible Fresh or Collier County Produce, may have committed workers’ compensation fraud. At least 27 of these employees are also believed to have stolen the identities of victims from 25 different other states. Click here to read more:

  • Contractor Can Assert Workers' Comp Immunity: Florida Court

    A Florida appeals court said Wednesday that highway maintenance contractor VMS Inc. could assert workers' compensation immunity in a negligence suit filed by a sub-subcontractor's employee because VMS had fulfilled its statutory duty by securing coverage for its subcontractor. Florida's Third District Court of Appeal reversed a lower court's partial summary judgment ruling that said VMS was estopped from asserting workers' compensation immunity because it had not reported the incident to its compensation carrier. Click here to read more:

  • New OSHA Rule Requires Reporting for Single Incidents of Severe Injuries

    The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued afinal rule requiring employers to notify OSHA when an employee is killed on the job or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye. The rule, which also updates the list of employers partially exempt from OSHA record-keeping requirements, will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015, for workplaces under federal OSHA jurisdiction. Original article no longer available

  • A Made-in-Florida Construction Industry Rip-Off

    The wire shouldn’t have been “hot.” But someone forgot to turn off the electrical boxes at the strip mall Joseph Barrs had been hired to help remodel. When the sheet of thin metal mesh that Barrs was holding touched an uncapped electrical wire, the blast of current knocked him backward off a seven-foot scaffold onto the concrete below. “When my head hit the concrete, I just saw a ball of fire and that’s all I remember,” Barrs said in a recent interview. A Naples police officer who responded to the scene wrote that she found Barrs “lying on the ground, shaking, and drifting in and out of consciousness.” He woke up in a hospital bed at the Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers three hours later, having been taken there by air ambulance. His ordeal was just beginning. Click here to read more:

  • Florida Court Ruling May Force Closer Look at Workers’ Comp

    On Aug. 13, a Miami-Dade County Circuit Court judge declared that the state’s workers’ compensation system is unconstitutional and an inadequate alternative to allowing workers to take their employers to court for injuries and illnesses caused by employers’ negligence or, as is too often the case, reckless indifference to health and safety (“Workers’ Compensation Act declared unconstitutional,” Aug. 17). Many injured workers I have interviewed over the past decade would never have thought they would see the day when a court finally said that the emperor has no clothes. Click here to read more:

  • NCCI Proposes Average Workers’ Comp Rate Decrease of 2.5% in Florida

    Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation announced it received the 2015 Florida workers’ compensation rate filing by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), which proposes a statewide average rate decrease of 2.5 percent — the first decrease in four years. NCCI said fewer claims and a lower amount of loss is responsible for the proposed rate decrease. Click here to read more:

  • Court Holds Exclusive Remedy Facially Unconstitutional

    I blog twice a week, usually on Mondays and Wednesdays. I have a lot of respect for those who have the energy to produce more often or even daily like Bob Wilson (Bob's Cluttered Desk) and David DePaolo (DePaolo's Workcomp World). But I take to the blogophere this morning because the world of workers' compensation has many questions this morning. Could Aug. 13, 2014, be a "red letter day" in workers' compensation across the country? Click here to read more:

  • Unlicensed Contractors "nailed" in Operation Freeloader

    Lee County's growing construction activity may be good for builders and remodelers but for 14 unlicensed contractors from Lee and Collier counties it was a bad time to place an ad for work. The Lee County Sheriff's Office Economic Crimes Unit conducted a three-day sting targeting unlicensed contractors. It began that Tuesday at a home in San Carlos Park. Click here to read more:

  • Florida Woman Charged With Workers' Compensation Fraud, Larceny

    The Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice'sOffice of Chief State's Attorney issued the following news: KATHLEEN WILLIAMS, age 66, of 1335 Fleming Avenue 52, Ormond Beach, Florida,was arrested today and charged with one count each of Workers' Compensation Fraud and Larceny in the First Degree. According to the arrest warrant affidavit, in July of 1986, Williams' husband sustained a work-related injury and, as a result of that injury, began to receive permanent total disability workers' compensation benefits. From January of 2008 through August 2009, Liberty Mutual Insurance made several attempts to resolve the remainder of the claim with a lump sum settlement benefit payment to Williams' husband. All Settlement offers made by Liberty Mutual were rejected, according to the warrant. Click here to read more:

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