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Archive | February, 2014

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VIAW Newswire 02.24.14

Posted on 24 February 2014 by admin

California Legislator Indicted for Taking Bribes in Workers’ Comp Scheme

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that state Sen. Ron Calderon has been indicted in a corruption case and accused of taking about $100,000 in bribes from a hospital executive in Southern California who ran an alleged workers’ compensation scheme.

CA DOI: $500 Million Medical and Workers’ Comp Fraud Conspiracy Uncovered

A multi-year investigation into a sophisticated criminal fraud ring has uncovered the largest case of insurance fraud in department history and led to Michael Drobot, 69, of Corona Del Mar who built a complex conspiracy billing approximately 150 insurance companies more than $500 million for medical procedures over five years.

CHSWC Releases 2013 Annual Report on CA Health and Safety and Workers’ Comp Systems

The Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation (CHSWC) has released its nineteenth Annual Report for 2013. The 2013 Annual Report presents information about the health and safety and workers’ compensation systems in California and makes recommendations to improve their operations

Specialty Pharmacy Invades Workers’ Comp

Frequently, trends seen in the group health insurance market eventually trickle their way into the workers’ compensation industry. In most situations, whether these trends involve new treatments, new guidelines or new medications they likely will have an effect on a patient’s overall treatment regimen.


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VIAW Newswire 02.21.14

Posted on 22 February 2014 by admin

Tesoro bars federal safety agency from East Bay refinery

In an unprecedented challenge, Tesoro Corp. has barred federal authorities from going inside its refinery near Martinez to investigate an incident in which two workers were burned by acid spewing from a broken pipe, The Chronicle has learned. State officials ordered a partial shutdown of the Golden Eagle Refinery following the Feb. 12 incident after inspectors with California’s workplace safety agency found numerous suspected safety violations, state officials said.

DWC Posts Adjustments to Physician Services and Non-Physician Practitioner Services Section of Official Medical Fee Schedule

The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) has posted an order adjusting the Physician Services and Non-Physician Practitioner Services section of the Official Medical Fee Schedule to conform to changes made to the Medi-Cal Rates database effective for services on or after February 15, 2014.

Man in vegetative state not due workers comp for vision, hearing loss

A man in a persistent vegetative state cannot receive workers compensation benefits for vision and hearing loss, partly because his condition doesn’t allow him to be accurately tested for such injuries, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in a split decision.

Union Pickets Santa Monica Hotel over Alleged Labor Abuses

Workers from the Doubletree Suites Hotel in Santa Monica picketed Tuesday, claiming that management denied them legally-mandated breaks. The workers, who belong to the regional hospitality workers’ union, UNITE HERE Local 11, were joined by a handful of community members, including several City Council members and two Planning Commissioners.

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VIAW Newswire 02.19.14

Posted on 22 February 2014 by admin

VW workers may block southern U.S. deals if no unions: labor chief

Volkswagen’s top labor representative threatened on Wednesday to try to block further investments by the German carmaker in the southern United States if its workers there are not unionized.

DWC Posts Proposed Copy Service Fee Schedule Regulations to Online Forum for Public Comment

The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) has posted proposed Copy Service Fee Schedule regulations to the online forum where members of the public may review and comment on the proposals.

Aerospace worker killed in El Cajon industrial accident

An employee of an aerospace firm was killed Monday night in an industrial accident in El Cajon. A security guard discovered the victim at GKN Aerospace on West Bradley Avenue near North Marshall Avenue about 7:15 p.m., El Cajon police Lt. Walt Miller said.

New bill would change how workers’ compensation claims work in Arizona

House Bill 2455’s title indicates it’s designed to change how workers process their compensation claims, keeping the insurance companies honest and keeping workers from going after money they don’t deserve. But opponents to the bill said it takes all the rights away from the workers and gives insurance companies even more power.

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VIAW Newswire 02.17.14

Posted on 17 February 2014 by admin

Painful Lessons

In Maryland, workers are eligible for weekly compensation based on which body part was injured and the severity of the injury. Minor injuries (MIN) are bumps and bruises that do not require surgery.

Labor Department Sues Ohio Bell for Suspending Injured Workers

AT&T workers who allegedly were suspended without pay for reporting workplace injuries will have their day in court. U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit –against the Ohio Bell Telephone Co., which operates as AT&T, on behalf of 13 employees who received unpaid suspensions after reporting work place injuries from 2011 to 2013.

The ACA’s Anticipated Effect on P/C and Workers’ Comp Lines

Though parts of the Affordable Care Act have been in place since 2010, key reforms began on January 1, 2014. According to industry experts, the ACA won’t affect the medical bill payment process; however, insurers will likely see an increase in the cost of medical care for auto accident patients, more subrogation liens from health insurers and the potential for delayed treatment in workers’ compensation claims.

Firm involved in West Virginia Cell Tower Collapse Fined in ’09

The company that employed two of the three people killed in the collapse of a pair of cellphone towers in Clarksburg, W.Va., was sanctioned after a fatal accident in 2009 in Missouri, according to Occupational Health and Safety Administration records.

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VIAW Newswire 02.14.14

Posted on 17 February 2014 by admin

The Office of Administrative Law Has Approved DWC’s Final Versions of the Independent Medical Review and Independent Bill Review Regulations

The Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the Independent Medical Review

(IMR) and Independent Bill Review (IBR) regulations. Both sets of regulations were filed

with the Secretary of State on February 12, 2014 and are effective immediately


$74k Fine For Oregon Company’s Lack Of Fall Protection

An Oregon construction company has been fined nearly $73,000 for repeatedly not protecting its employees from falls. The fine comes after the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Division cited Woodburn-based Bravo’s Construction Services for the seventh time for lack of fall protection.


Two workers hurt at Tesoro California refinery; unit shut

Tesoro Corp said two workers were injured following a chemical release at its 166,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) Golden Eagle refinery in Martinez, California, on Wednesday. The company said it has shut a gasoline production unit at the refinery following the incident.,0,7950638.story


Worker remains missing as Chevron well continues to burn

State environmental officials and expert firefighters brought in by Chevron have been continuing to monitor a burning Marcellus Shale natural gas well in southwestern Pennsylvania.

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VIAW Newswire 02.12.14

Posted on 12 February 2014 by admin

Is It Really WorkMAN’s Compensation or Workers’ Compensation?

Today’s post comes from guest author Brody Ockander, from Rehm, Bennett & Moore.

I often hear my clients refer to their work-injury claim by the antiquated term, “workman’s compensation.” This was formerly the common vernacular when referring to a work-injury claim.

Texas Court Holds Employer Not Liable for Drunk Employee’s Death

A state appellate court in Houston, Texas recently held that an employer had no duty to prevent an employee from injuring himself as a result of his own intoxication. Robbie Lynn Clark, an employee of Vaquero, a contractor for EOG Resources, Inc., died after wrecking a company truck while intoxicated.

OSHA Warns Companies After Rise in Cellphone Tower Deaths

Cellphone tower contractors and the companies that hire them need to strictly comply with safety standards, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Tuesday, citing “an alarming increase” in preventable injuries and deaths.

Doctors propose limiting charges on workers’ compensation pills

Facing criticism from Baltimore and nearby counties over high drug bills, doctors who prescribe marked-up medication under Maryland’s workers’ compensation system have proposed capping their prescription fees.,0,5373994.story#ixzz2t8A2jJu5

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VIAW Newswire 02.07.14

Posted on 11 February 2014 by admin

Drowning Death Of Untrained Worker is 2nd Fatality in 5 Months for Fl Company

Following the drowning death of an untrained worker, Lucas Marine Acquisition Co. LLC has been cited for 22 safety violations by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.


Work-related injuries can’t happen here…can they?

One of the biggest barriers to improving health and safety is the belief that work-related injury, disease or death “can’t happen here”. I’m not saying injuries are an inevitable part of work…


WA L&I: Businesses Can Save on Workers’ Comp Costs by Using “Stay at Work” Program

A program that encourages employers to provide injured workers with light-duty jobs has paid off with $19.4 million for the business community.


Stamford’s cafeteria tables ID’d as worker’s comp issue

The cafeteria tables in the city’s public schools are among the most dangerous workplace hazards in the city, according to a memo that Stamford’s Risk Management Department recently sent to the Board of Education.

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VIAW Newswire 02.05.14

Posted on 06 February 2014 by admin

Mining firm sentenced in workers’ comp scheme

Leads continue to develop out of an investigation into a multimillion-dollar scheme aimed at lowering workers’ compensation premiums for contract firms that provided workers to some of the state’s largest coal producers, an assistant U.S. Attorney said Tuesday.


Firefighters could get workers’ comp for cancers

A new proposal could make it easier for firefighters who develop cancer from their work to receive benefits. Those firefighters would be eligible to receive workers’ compensation if they develop an illness they believe could be tied to breathing in carcinogens and other hazards of the job.


New Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission opens

Oklahoma’s new Workers’ Compensation Commission has opened for business. Offices in Oklahoma City and Tulsa were prepared to receive workers’ compensation claims beginning Monday.


Missouri Plumbing Company Worker Fatally Injured in Trench Collapse

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Larry Strate Plumbing & Heating after a foreman was fatally injured Oct. 24, 2013, while working in an excavated trench in Lee’s Summit.

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VIAW Newswire 02.03.14

Posted on 06 February 2014 by admin

California workers’ compensation eligibility for lunch, break periods

Worker’s compensation benefits are available to employees who suffer an injury or illness while working. But what does this mean? Will employees qualify if they are injured while taking a lunch break?


TX Division of Workers’ Compensation Announces Recent Enforcement Actions

Commissioner of Workers’ Compensation Rod Bordelon recently announced final disciplinary actions taken by the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (TDI-DWC).


NFL workers’ comp victory comes at a price

Last fall, the National Football League scored a huge victory in California, helping push through a new law barring most professional athletes from filing workers’ compensation claims in the state. But that win has come at a cost.,0,6484587.htmlstory#axzz2sHO3s72M

CA Employers Indicted for Unemployment & Workers’ Comp Fraud

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis recently announced charges against four businesses, their owners and several employees who were indicted on various types of insurance fraud including workers compensation fraud, unemployment fraud and tax evasion.

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