COLUMBUS, Ohio - Manufacturers present at a man's deposition did not share the required similar motives or predecessor-in-interest status with an employer embroiled in a workers' compensation case involving asbestos exposure, a divided Ohio Supreme Court held Sept. 3 in excluding the testimony (Mary Lou Burkhart v. H.J. Heinz Co., et al., No. 2013-0580, Ohio Sup.).
MADISON, Wis. - The transfer of asbestos fibers from a workplace to a car or home does not negate the exclusivity provision of the Wisconsin Workers' Compensation Act, a federal judge held Aug. 22, granting dismissals in six cases (Milton Boyer and Kathy Boyer v. Weyerhaeuser Co., et al., No. 14-286, W.D. Wis.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117062).
CHICAGO - Employees suffering from asbestos-related injuries may pursue a tort action against an employer where the state's Workers' Compensation Act's statute of repose bars a workers' compensation claim, an Illinois appeals court panel held June 27 (Ellen Folta, et al. v. Ferro Engineering, a division of ON Marine Services Co., No. 1-12-3219, Ill. App., 1st Dist.).
BUTTE, Calif. - The injury a correctional officer sustained while exercising at home arose in the course of his employment, and the officer is entitled to workers' compensation, a California appellate panel ruled June 25 (Daniel Young v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Board, et al., No. C075047, Calif. App., 3rd Dist.; 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 562).
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A Texas appeals panel on June 5 reversed a trial court's impairment rating on a workers' compensation claim with an insolvent insurer and rendered judgment that the injured employee's impairment rating is 10 percent (Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Co. v. Noe Portillo, No. 13-13-00219, Texas App., 13th Dist.; 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 5977).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court precedent invalidates the state's workers' compensation law when the disease is a latent one like mesothelioma which would arise after the 300-week statutory limit, an appeals court held May 12 (Howard A. Scott, et al. v. Duquesne Light Co., No. 2139 WDA 2009, Pa. Super.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court precedent invalidates the state's workers' compensation law when the disease is a latent one like mesothelioma that would arise after the 300-week statutory limit, an appeals court held May 12 (Howard A. Scott, et al. v. Duquesne Light Co., No. 2139 WDA 2009, Pa. Super.).
RALEIGH, N.C. - A North Carolina appeals panel on May 6 affirmed the denial of an employee's request to reinstate vocational rehabilitation efforts against his employer and the North Carolina Insurance Guaranty Association (NCIGA) and also ruled that the employee is time-barred from recovering any further compensation (Willie B. Johnson v. Southern Tire Sales and Service Inc. and North Carolina Insurance Guaranty Association, No. COA13-1074, N.C. App.; 2014 N.C. App. LEXIS 403).
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia - A Canadian commissioner on March 10 ordered that a worker's occupational exposure claim be remanded for further review by a workers' compensation board to determine whether he suffers from an asbestos-related or other lung impairment (2013-434-RTH, Nova Scotia Wrks. Comp. App. Trib.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A widow and her husband's former employer on Feb. 25 argued before the Ohio Supreme Court over whether a deposition in an asbestos tort action is admissible in her workers' compensation action when the employer was not present at the deposition (Mary Lou Burkhart v. H.J. Heinz Co., et al., No. 2013-0580, Ohio Sup.).
JUNEAU, Alaska - A unanimous Alaska Supreme Court affirmed the denial of workers' compensation benefits for alleged sick building syndrome symptoms on Feb. 14 after concluding that the claimant failed to adduce sufficient medical evidence to support her claim (Marilyn A. Coppe v. Michael Bleicher, M.D. et al., No. S-14938, Alaska Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS - A workers' compensation provider on Feb. 11 petitioned the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for en banc rehearing of a panel's recent finding that Mississippi law governed an injured worker's claim, arguing that Alabama law applies and that the state's "exclusive remedy doctrine bars such claims" (Clinton Williams v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., No. 11-60818, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 1726).
EDMONTON, Alberta - A Canadian commission on Feb. 5 found that new medical evidence submitted by an estate on the relationship between a worker's carcinoma and his asbestos exposure should be reviewed by a pulmonary specialist before a decision in the case is made (Docket No. AC0234-12-23, Decision No. 2013-0091, Alberta Wrks. Comp. App. Comm.).
ALBANY, N.Y. - A unanimous New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, Third Department, panel affirmed workers' compensation benefits Jan. 30 for a food packaging line worker alleging that exposure to dust and polyethylene fumes caused a temporary occupational respiratory disease (In re Timothy E. Dosztan v Kraft Foods, et al., No. 515222, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 3d Dept.; 2014 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 549).
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma's new workers' compensation law, which will take effect on Feb. 1, 2014, stands as is, a divided Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Dec. 16, rejecting a constitutional challenge brought by a member of the state Senate, a member of the state House of Representatives and the Professional Fire Fighters of Oklahoma and its president (The Honorable Harry E. Coates, et al. v. The Honorable Mary Fallin, et al., No. 112167, Okla. Sup.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The exclusivity provision in Pennsylvania's workers' compensation act does not bar a tort action when the injury arises outside the act's 300-week limit for compensation, the state Supreme Court held Nov. 22 in a 5-1 opinion reinstating two asbestos actions (Kathleen Tooey, et al. v. AK Steel Corp., et al., Spurgeon E. Landis and Mary Landis v. A.W.Chesterton Co., et al., Nos. 21 WAP 2011, 22 WAP 2011, Pa. Sup.).
AUSTIN, Texas - Citing Texas Mutual Insurance Co. v. Ruttiger (381 S.W.3d 430 $(Texas 2012$)), a Texas appeals panel on Oct. 18 affirmed dismissal of extrastatutory claims, including bad faith and fraud, brought by a widow and her children against a workers' compensation insurer, finding that such claims are solely governed by the state's Workers' Compensation Act (TWCA) (Donna Hopper, et al. v. Argonaut Insurance Co., et al., No. 03-12-00734-CV, Texas App., 3rd Dist.; 2013 Tex. App. LEXIS 13030).