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).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A unanimous Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal panel issued an opinion Sept. 21 affirming temporary workers' compensation benefits for a welder who complained that exposure to metal alloy fumes caused him to develop pneumonia secondary to bronchiolitis obliterans; it found no merit in the welder's argument that the lung condition is permanent (Edward Blake v. Turner Industries Group, No. 12-140, La. App., 1st Cir.; 2012 L. App. LEXIS 1180).
ST. LOUIS - Plaintiffs asserting wrongful death from benzene exposure have six days to overcome the exclusive remedy provision of the California Workers' Compensation Act (CWCA) by filing an amended complaint pleading that a California company knew the decedent had contracted a work-related illness, a Missouri federal judge ordered Aug. 27 (Joan Linton, et al. v. Owens-Illinois Inc., No. 4:12CV00960 AGF, E.D. Mo., Eastern Div.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121000).
PASADENA, Calif. - A former professional football player failed to establish that he was entitled to benefits under California's workers' compensation regime for the pain and suffering he alleges he experiences as a result of injuries sustained during his career, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 6, upholding a trial court ruling (Bruce Matthews v. National Football League Management Council, et al., No. 11-55186, 9th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 16295).
TRENTON, N.J. - New Jersey's Workers' Compensation Act precludes an injured worker from filing common-law claims against his employer's compensation provider, a New Jersey Supreme Court majority ruled Aug. 1, affirming dismissal of the worker's claims (Wade Stancil v. ACE USA, No. 1-112 September Term 2010, 067640, N.J. Sup.; 2012 N.J. LEXIS 823).
TRENTON, N.J. - A unanimous New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division panel issued an opinion July 30 affirming the award of workers' compensation benefits to a refinery worker over the objections of the employer, who alleged that the evidence does not support the conclusions of the judge of compensations (Retha Johnson v. ExxonMobil Chemical Co. No. A-0665-10T2, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2012 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1814).
SALT LAKE CITY - Chemical exposure personal injury claims prosecuted in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah by two oil refinery workers are barred by the state workers' compensation act, and summary judgment for the employer is appropriate, the presiding judge ruled in an order entered May 25 (E. Lynn Hansen, et al. v. Chevron USA Inc., et al., No. 08-959, D. Utah; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73418).