The July 2013 CLM Workers’ Compensation mini seminar will be held in Chicago this year. Kirk Trombley will chair a panel presentation addressing the use of opioid medication in workers’ compensation pain management programs. Kirk will be joined on the Panel by a doctor and claims specialist. Stay tuned for more.
Stranger than truth….
I’m sure that many of you have had that odd, offbeat case from time to time. But consider these:
An Australian court ruled that a bureaucrat who was injured while having sex on a business trip was eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Apparently, during sex, a glass light fitting was torn from its mount above the bed and landed on her face. She later suffered depression and was unable to continue to work for the government. The court reasoned that if the claimant “had been injured while playing a game of cards in her motel room, she would be entitled to compensation even though it could not be said that her employer induced her to engage in such activity….” The Court rejected government’s argument that to be compensable the employer-government would have expressly or impliedly approved of the claimant’s conduct.
Another court – this time in the United States – ruled that an employer must pay for weight loss surgery for an obese employee to ensure success for another operation for a back injury he had at work—even though his weight (340 pounds at the time of the injury) was a preexisting condition. The court determined that without the weight loss surgery, his back surgery would not be successful.
Finally, even in New Hampshire: A woman claimed that she had bi-lateral carpal tunnel that prevented her from doing any activity with her arms, especially work. The employer sent her for an independent medical examination and, on the advice of counsel, had surveillance of the claimant to and from the doctor’s office. The claimant was videotaped getting on her Harley Davidson motorcycle, pulling it off its kickstand, and driving at a high rate of speed to the independent examination where she put on both of her arm braces. After the independent examination, she was videotaped coming out of the doctor’s office, removing her arm braces, and resuming her motorcycle ride home at a high rate of speed. The hearing officer denied the claim.
“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.” A. Lincoln
October data from the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services states that New Hampshire has the ninth-highest workers’ compensation premiums in the Nation. This is the State’s worst ranking since Oregon began publishing its figures in 1994. New Hampshire employers pay an average rate of $2.40 per $100 in payroll for workers’ compensation insurance. That is 128 percent of the national median rate of $1.88 per $100 in payroll.