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Archive | May, 2013

Rozy Press Injured Worker Horror Story

Posted on 28 May 2013 by admin

I was an art teacher at Sepulveda Middle School in the San Fernando School, Los Angeles District. On December 8, 2000, I was sprayed in my face with the toxic chemicals from a fire extinguisher by one of my students. I can no longer teach or live the same life.”

About me: My name is Rozy Press and I live in Woodland Hills, California.

My family: I am a mother of two grown children and a grandmother to two grandkids.

My Job and What Happened: After working for 17 years as a teacher for LAUSD, on December 8, 2000, I was sprayed in my face with the toxic chemicals from a fire extinguisher by one of my students. Following this accident, I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, nodules on the lungs and fibro fog. Therefore, I suffer of memory loss, get exhausted after just a couple of hours, and am in pain constantly. LAUSD did not call paramedics for first aid. Plus, LAUSD did not call a Hazmat team for clean up of toxins. Now I am permanently totally disabled.

How Workers’ Comp was supposed to help me: Workers compensation insurance was to provide me with medical care to heal my injuries, help me return to work, and help provide relief from loss of income. After 13 years, I’m still injured, out of work, and can’t even play with my grandkids, have a social life or go to church as I used to, and I’m losing my house due to financial hardship. The AME apportioned my total disability to what he admitted was a misdiagnosis, but he did it anyway because it had been suggested to him by the judge. This was an injustice, because it reduced the value of my permanent disability compensation by ten times from what it would have been without apportionment. My workers’ comp case advanced to California Supreme Court. Is the workers’ comp system designed to prolong cases, or to restore the worker as soon as possible to the condition or close to the condition at the time of the accident?

 

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Opinion: Ruling in death shows workers’ comp system needs fixing

Posted on 24 May 2013 by admin

By John Longville and Jesse Ceniceros

Posted: 05/22/2013 06:04:45 PM PDT
Updated: 05/22/2013 06:04:56 PM PDT

 

Every now and then the facts of someone’s life or death resonate up and down California and penetrate our boardrooms, newsrooms, classrooms and the Capitol.

Whether that happens in the case of Charles Romano, a worker in his 40s who died five years ago this month after a cruel five-year ordeal in the workers’ compensation system, will reveal the meaning of accountability in our state. It also will show officials’ willingness to exert lapsed oversight, ensure fair play and extend basic humanity in a system most simply want to ignore.

The ruling in Romano’s case this month by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) showed that neither decency nor the demands of law, in procedure or in penalties, is protecting injured workers or the public interest in a functional system. The appeals board found Romano’s employer, Kroger, under its California imprint Ralph’s, and insurance carrier Sedgwick culpable for “a callous indifference to the catastrophic consequences of its delays, inaction, and outright neglect.” Despite 11 separate violations of law for denying or delaying care to Romano – even refusing to provide him use of a wheelchair – and despite their months of delay in paying the hundreds of thousands of dollars in hospitalization costs surrounding his death, Ralph’s and Sedgwick face fines of just $110,000.

Such lethal irresponsibility toward a Californian trying to overcome a work-related injury is unconscionable but far from unusual. The meager maximum penalty of $10,000 for each violation, no matter how blatant and severe, clearly didn’t provide a disincentive for the delays and denials of care that proved fatal for Romano. Indeed, the ongoing practice of such illegal delays and denials in case after case reveals that “profit at any human cost” has become an unofficial motto for too many companies and their insurers.

In the Inland Empire alone, hundreds of men and women incur unforeseen bodily harm on the job each month. Stockers, like Romano, and warehouse workers, who are literally a backbone of our local economy, suffer scores of debilitating injuries. We cannot afford to turn our backs on them, their care or their future productivity.

If more lawmakers knew that changes in the 2004 bill pushed by Gov. Schwarzenegger, reducing penalties for delay and denial of care, could in any way enable such mistreatment, it would have met stiffer resistance, and amendments to stiffen penalties under law. Current lawmakers should waste no time in taking up that priority.

The Romano case highlights how denials and delays of treatment worsen injuries, wrongly shift cost burdens onto caregivers and inhibit rehabilitation and return to work. The ruling creates a teachable moment for all Californians – corporate executives and shareholders, reporters and editors, educators in health and government and law, as well as state officials – about the ethical obligations of employers and insurers, the need for effective regulation and the value of workers’ lives.

From orchards to railroads to renewable energy, our regional economy has grown from the ingenuity and sacrifice of workers. We all share an interest in protecting the health of the labor force.

John Longville, vice president of the San Bernardino Community College District Board of Trustees, represented county residents in the state Assembly from 1998 to 2004. Jesse Ceniceros, a former aerospace mechanic in Bloomington, is board chair of Voters Injured At Work, a statewide advocacy group for Californians hurt on the job.

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Posted on 22 May 2013 by admin

June 19 2013 event

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

6:00 to 8:30 PM

at

Mezcal Restaurant

25 W. San Fernando St.

San Jose, CA 95113

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Workers’ comp legislation introduced in House

Posted on 17 May 2013 by admin

Workers’ comp legislation introduced in House to benefit injured workers, help employers

 

Representatives Dave Reichert (R-Washington) and Mike Thompson (D-California) introduced the Medicare Secondary Payer and Workers’ Compensation Settlement Agreement Act (H.R. 1982) into the U.S. House of Representatives on May 15.

According to a press release, the Act establishes clear and consistent standards for an administrative process that provides reasonable protections for injured workers and Medicare. It would benefit injured workers, employers and insurers by creating a system of certainty and allows the settlement process to move forward while eliminating millions of dollars in administrative costs that harm workers, employers, and insurers.

The legislation aims to protect injured workers whose workers’ compensation claims overlap with Medicare coverage. Often, these claims are subjected to lengthy and cumbersome reviews by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to determine appropriate set-aside amounts to pay for future medical costs in which Medicare may have an interest. The delays associated with this review place unfair burdens upon the injured party.

“This is a common-sense measure to ensure that hard-working Americans are not left in limbo because of inefficient bureaucratic procedures,” said Rep. Reichert. “Injured workers must have the confidence that their heathcare claims will be processed in a fair and timely manner. By introducing this bill, Rep. Thompson and I aim to do just that: protect our hard-working citizens by making sure our systems serve them and their families.”

“The last thing injured workers should have to worry about is if needless bureaucracy is going to prevent their medical bills from being paid,” said Thompson. “This bill will make sure hard working families’ medical claims are processed efficiently and quickly, it will reduce bureaucratic headaches for businesses, and it will save taxpayers money. I will continue working with Congressman Reichert to get this bipartisan bill signed into law.”

The legislation has widespread support from groups such as the American Insurance Association, the American Bar Association, the National Council of Self-Insurers, Property Casualty, Insurers Association of America, UWC-Strategic Services and the Workers Injury Law and Advocacy Group (WILG).

Follow this link for the original posting.

 

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How to Succeed After SB 863

Posted on 17 May 2013 by admin

The
 seminar 
that 
will 
help 
you 
and
 your 
clients 
win 
on
 the 
new 
medical,

legal,
 and 
payment‐systems 
landscape 
created
 by 
last
year’s

sweeping 
workers’ comp reform 
law 
in 
California.

Featuring

Sana Khan M.D., Ph.D

&

Charles Rondeau, Esq.

Tuesday, May 28

6 
to 
9
p.m.

at

VITAL
IMAGING

2198 
S. 
DuPont 
Dr.
Anaheim
, CA 

92806

For More Details Click on the Link: Seminar SB863

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VIAW Newswire 04.30.13

Posted on 16 May 2013 by admin

Barbara Boxer – United States Senator – Introduce the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act

http://boxer.enews.senate.gov

 

Firms Design Algorithms To Combat Misuse of Prescription Drugs

More firms are developing data-driven algorithms to combat prescription drug misuse, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The algorithm is based on a 30-question survey that, among other questions, asks about injured workers’…

http://www.ihealthbeat.org

 

5 Recent Orthopedic Device & Procedure Launches

Sonoma Orthopedic Products, based in Santa Rosa, Calif., has launched a new minimally invasive procedure using its Sonoma CRx clavicle nail. The Velox procedure enables orthopedic physicians to heal collar bone, arm and wrist fractures that would normally call for surgery.

http://beckersspine.com

 

Calif. Health Exchange Delays Action on Model Health Plan Contract

At the meeting, health insurers expressed concern about collecting sensitive data on enrollees that health plans currently are not required to obtain.

http://www.californiahealthline.org

Survey: Fewer Calif. Firms Offer Health Insurance to Workers

The proportion of California employers that offer health insurance to workers declined significantly in the previous decade, according to a new survey by the California HealthCare Foundation, the Sacramento Bee’s “Capitol Alert” reports.

http://www.californiahealthline.org

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VIAW Newswire 04.29.13

Posted on 16 May 2013 by admin

Take Action to Close the Walmart Loophole!

It’s time to stop rewarding low pay and lousy benefits!

Walmart has been doing it for years: instead of focusing on providing decent pay and benefits for thousands of employees in California, they look for a way to offload those costs to taxpayers. Thanks to their practice of pushing employees on to Medi-Cal, Walmart workers’ reliance on public health care programs already costs taxpayers tens of millions of dollars annually.

 

http://act.aflcio.org

 

Specialists Embracing Video Games To Treat Chronic Pain Conditions

Health care providers increasingly are using video games to help treat patients’ chronic pain conditions, the New York Times reports.

http://www.ihealthbeat.org

 

Caregivers Tap Mobile Apps, Online Tools To Manage Patient Care

Caregivers increasingly are using mobile applications and online tools to manage care for individuals with certain conditions, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.

http://www.ihealthbeat.org

 

Online Searches Provide Insight on Link Between Seasons, Mental Health

Internet search data can provide insight into the correlation between seasons and mental health conditions, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, MedPage Today’s “The Gupta Guide” reports (Petrochko, “The Gupta Guide,” MedPage Today, 4/12).

http://www.ihealthbeat.org

 

Study: Chicken, Ground Beef Are Riskiest Meats

An analysis of more than 33,000 cases of foodborne illness shows that ground beef and chicken have caused more hospitalizations than other meats.

http://www.claimsjournal.com

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VIAW Newswire 04.18.13

Posted on 16 May 2013 by admin

Four Things You Should Know About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, also known as CTS, is an uncomfortable and often painful wrist disorder. It is a common injury that can be caused by workplace stress. Here are four things you should know about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

http://workers-compensation.blogspot.com

Where Have All The Lawyers Gone?

No where is it more evident than in workers’ compensation law, that the lawyers and their practices to assist injured workers, are disappearing. Workers are finding it difficult to obtain legal representation.

http://workers-compensation.blogspot.com

California Democrats push voting laws that could broaden their reach

Fresh off their 2012 wins at the polls, California Democrats are looking to broaden their reach by advancing a new batch of bills aimed at expanding voter access and increasing turnout.

 

California Workers’ Comp Case Roundup (3/8/2013)

Appellate Court Compensation Cases

Temporary Disability—104-Week Limit—Salary in Lieu of Benefits—Court of Appeal, annulling WCAB decision that Labor Code § 4850 salary continuation benefits did not count toward 104-week limit on payments for injury causing temporary disability under Labor Code § 4656(c)(2), held that salary continuation benefits paid to injured public safety officer counted toward 104-week limit on temporary disability payments, when Court of Appeal found that…

http://www.lexisnexis.com

 

 

Be aware of phone scammers posing as SCE employees

 

Winter months along with warmer months mean increased energy usage and that’s when phone swindlers seem to come out of the woodwork and wreak havoc on unsuspecting utility customers.

http://www.swrnn.com

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VIAW Newswire 04.16.13

Posted on 16 May 2013 by admin

Submit your questions

& have them answered during an Online Town Hall with Sen. Ted Lieu & Legislative Analyst Mac –

http://sd28.senate.ca.gov

California lawmakers target prescription drug abuse

There has already been a fair amount of attention in Sacramento to prescription drug abuse — earlier this year, grieving parents testified that the California Medical Board hasn’t done enough to crack down on unscrupulous doctors who over-prescribe. Today the Legislature is taking up bills to deal with the issue.

http://view.exacttarget.com

CA State Fund Releases 2012 Annual Report

San Francisco, CA – State Fund’s Annual Report for 2012 was recently released online. The report shows a significant increase in net income for California’s largest workers’ comp insurer. For 2012, State Fund’s income before dividends totaled $458 million, which was $279 million more than the prior year.

http://www.workcompwire.com

San Francisco Cable Car Accidents Costs Millions

Cable cars average about an accident a month and routinely rank among the most accident-prone mass transportation modes in the country per vehicle mile traveled annually, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Over the last 10 years, city officials have reported 126 accidents injuring 151 people.

http://www.insurancejournal.com

Nevada Sends Hundreds of Mentally Ill Patients to California, Other States
According to the Bee‘s review of bus receipts kept by the Nevada Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services, the number of patients with mental illnesses sent by Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas to other cities via Greyhound bus increased by 66% from 2009 to 2012.
http://www.californiahealthline.org

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VIAW Newswire 04.15.13

Posted on 16 May 2013 by admin

RTA bus driver pleads guilty to fraud charges

A former Riverside Transit Authority worker pleaded has pleaded guilty to worker’s comp fraud charges.

http://blog.pe.com

Hesperia business owner charged for not carrying state insurance

The man who owns Tile Gallery Plus in Hesperia was arrested by San Bernardino County District Attorney investigators for not carrying state required Workers Compensation insurance.

http://www.sbsun.com

63% of Drivers Don’t Know They Pay Higher Rates to Subsidize Bad Drivers

Progressive Insurance recently surveyed 500 consumers about their knowledge of auto insurance pricing and found 63 percent of respondents didn’t know that the bad driving of others affected their car insurance rates.

http://www.claimsjournal.com

California Federation of Teachers lobbies lawmakers

It’s lobby day for the California Federation of Teachers , which means members of the state’s second-biggest teachers union (after the California Teachers Association) are in Sacramento to petition lawmakers.

http://view.exacttarget.com

California hopes to curb opioid abuse with new regulations, better monitoring

California lawmakers and workers compensation regulators want to curb prescription opioid abuse, and they are turning to Washington state for inspiration in the fight against narcotic addiction and deaths.

http://viaw.org/blog/

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