ALBANY, N.Y. - A widow's claim that her husband's death from acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) was caused by his work around coke ovens is timely, a New York appellate court said in an April 26 opinion, because the written medical opinion connecting her husband's illness with his working conditions was received within the statute of limitations (In the Matter of the Claim of Silvia Kasic, as Widow of Stephen Kasic, Deceased v. Bethlehem Steel Corporation, et al., No. 512068, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 3rd Dept.; 2012 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 3251).
DES MOINES, Iowa - A unanimous Iowa Court of Appeals panel affirmed the workers' compensation commissioner in an opinion issued April 25 and denied disability benefits for an occupational respiratory disease allegedly caused by contact with cleaning products at an Iowa meat-processing factory (Refugio Orozco Serratos v. Tyson Foods, No. 11-1186, Iowa App.; 2012 Iowa App. LEXIS 291).
DOVER, Del. - A unanimous Delaware Supreme Court panel on April 20 affirmed the denial of workers' compensation benefits for aggravation of a respiratory condition because the claimant failed to meet her burden of proof (Annette Turner v. Johnson Controls, No. 561, 2011, Del. Sup.; 2012 Del. LEXIS 217).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 18 upheld the denial of a former government employee's motion to withdraw his guilty plea in a case in which he was accused of fraudulently obtaining workers' compensation benefits after being injured on the job (United States of America v. Lester Nicholson, No. 11-4531, 4th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 7811).
JACKSON, Miss. - Mississippi Insurance Guaranty Association (MIGA) is not obligated to reimburse Mississippi Workers' Compensation Self-Insurers Guaranty Association (SIGA) under an insolvent insurance policy for SIGA's statutorily obligated payments to an insured because those payments are not a covered claim, a majority of the Mississippi Supreme Court held April 19 (Mississippi Insurance Guaranty Association v. Mississippi Workers' Compensation Individual Self-Insurer Guaranty Association f/k/a Mississippi Workers' Compensation Self-Insurer Guaranty Association, No. 2010-CA-01615-SCT, Miss. Sup.; 2012 Miss. LEXIS 197).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania court on April 13 affirmed a decision made by a workers' compensation board to reverse a judge's ruling granting a woman's claim for compensation for injuries caused by mold exposure at work, finding that her claim was time-barred (Robyn Kochan v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board $(Keystone Automotive Operations$), No. 1456 C.D. 2011, Pa. Cmwlth.; 2012 Pa. Commw. Unpub. LEXIS 257).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Court of Appeals on April 2 upheld summary judgment for the defendant in a workplace accident action, noting that since the injured worker elected to receive workers' compensation benefits from his employer, he may not pursue damages against a construction contractor (Matthew Scherber, et al. v. Nor-Son Inc., et al., No. A11-962, Minn. App.; 2012 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 275).
DAYTON, Ohio - A federal magistrate judge in Ohio on March 23 ruled that a current employee for a defendant company in a Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) lawsuit can be deposed, even though counsel for the plaintiff engaged in ex parte communications with him because the discussions did not progress after the attorney learned that the worker was involved with the disposal of hazardous waste at the plaintiff's facility (Hobart Corporation, et al. v. Waste Management of Ohio, et al., No. 10cv00195, S.D. Ohio; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39841).
HOUSTON - Controlling precedent from the Texas Supreme Court led a Texas federal judge on March 20 to grant dismissal of an insured's claims that his insurer violated the state Insurance Code and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA), finding that state law precluded such claims related to workers' compensation claims (Keen v. Wausau Business Insurance Co., et al., No. 4:11-cv-01415, S.D. Texas; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37354).
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CHICAGO - A former FedEx Freight Inc. employee failed to prove that she was fired in retaliation based on her filing or expected filing for workers' compensation benefits, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 22, upholding a trial court ruling (Marion Gordon v. FedEx Freight, Inc., No. 11-2890, 7th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 5962).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An injured maritime worker's compensation is based on the rate at the time he or she becomes disabled regardless of when a compensation order is issued, a split U.S. Supreme Court ruled March 20 (Dana Roberts v. Sea-Land Services, Inc., et al., No. 10-1399, U.S. Sup.).
BOSTON - A U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employee was neither disabled nor perceived as disabled despite the fact that she collected workers' compensation, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 14, upholding a district court ruling (Marilyn McDonough v. Patrick R. Donahoe, No. 11-1477, 1st Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 5373).