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).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A unanimous Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court on Oct. 15 affirmed denial of workers' compensation survivor benefits to the widow of a Rohm & Haas Co. research scientist who died of brain cancer because the claim is barred by the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act statute of repose (Kuo-Hom Hsu v. Rohm & Haas Co., No. 328 CD 2013, Pa. Cmwlth; 2013 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 758).
HONOLULU - Weighing pertinent Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals case law, as well as the laws of Hawaii and the Northern Mariana Islands, a Hawaiia federal judge on Aug. 14 found that state to be the proper venue for an injured worker's bad faith claims against his workers' compensation provider (Dutch O'Neal v. Century Insurance Co., No. 1:13-cv-00058, D. Hawaii; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114716).
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 26 denied a petition to review a Benefits Review Board (BRB) decision denying workers' compensation to a worker injured on the job while intoxicated (Gary D. Schwirse v. Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Program, et al., No. 11-73172, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 15283).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio Supreme Court on June 26 agreed to decide whether state evidentiary rules allow a video deposition taken in a tort action against sellers of asbestos-containing materials to be admitted in a workers' compensation action against an employer not party to the prior action (Mary Lou Burkhart v. H.J. Heinz Co., et al., No. 2013-0580, Ohio Sup.).
CLEVELAND - A unanimous Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Eighth District Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 28 unanimously affirmed summary judgment as a matter of law against a regional transit authority bus driver seeking workers' compensation benefits for occupational exposure to bus fumes and dust (Herbert Brannon Jr. v. Steve Buehrer, et al., No. 98711, Ohio App., 8th Dist., Cuyahoga Co.; 2013 Ohio App. LEXIS 628).
LINCOLN, Neb. - The Nebraska Supreme Court on Feb. 15 unanimously affirmed denial of the wait-time penalty and attorney fees under the workers' compensation act to a worker alleging tardy reimbursement of medical expenses for a respiratory injury caused by occupational exposure to chlorine and toilet bowl cleaner fumes (Elaine VanKirk v. Central Community College, et al., No. 12-591, Neb. Sup.).
BEAUMONT, Texas - In light of a recent ruling by the state's Supreme Court, a Texas appeals panel on Nov. 8 held that a man's bad faith claims against his workers' compensation provider were precluded under the Texas Workers' Compensation Act (WCA), affirming a lower court's dismissal of his complaint (Robert Bean v. Texas Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 09-11-00123, Texas App. 9th Dist.; 2012 Tex. App. LEXIS 9216).
NEW ORLEANS - A former university financial aid director failed to show that statements to an auditor regarding that she had with the university's comp time policy constituted a complaint under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C.S. § 203, or led to her termination, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 24, upholding a trial court ruling (Delinda "Dolly" Lasater v. Texas A&M University-Commerce, et al., No. 11-11068, 5th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 22118).
ST. LOUIS - Workers' compensation law preempts tort claims against a company for its president's alleged recording of female employees using various restrooms, and the "bodily injury" provision in the policy does not require the insurer to defend the claims, a Missouri federal judge held Sept. 27 (Starnet Insurance Co. v. Corporate Cash Flow Solutions, et al., No. 10-1163, E.D. Mo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138915).