BATON ROUGE, La. - A federal judge in Louisiana on Nov. 3 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment, holding that an excess workers' compensation and employers' liability policy was not reinsurance and that the limit on liability of an underlying insurance policy was not relevant to the amount owed (Louisiana Commerce and Trade Association Self Insurers Fund v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, No. 13-cv-773, M.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148725).
CHICAGO - While it creates a harsh outcome, Illinois law forecloses on a tort remedy for a man whose mesothelioma arose outside the state's 25-year limit on workers' compensation claims, the majority of the Illinois Supreme Court held Nov. 4 (Ellen Folta, et al. v. Ferro Engineering, a division of ON Marine Services Co., No. 118070, Ill. Sup.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The judge of compensation claims (JCC) did not abuse his discretion in denying an objection to medical opinion testimony in a workers' compensation lawsuit, a Florida appeals panel affirmed Sept. 30 (Ernesto O. Sierra v. Metropolitan Protective Services and Guarantee Insurance, No. 1D15-0094, Fla. App., 1st Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 14510).
LOS ANGELES - The state's workers' compensation exclusivity provision bars a tort action alleging exposures to asbestos from pipes a man brought home from work because it involves the same mesothelioma his occupational exposure triggered, a California appeals panel held Sept. 17 (Mary Melendrez, et al. v. Ameron International Corp., Nos. B256928, B259423, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4; 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 820).
BOSTON - A trial court did not err when finding that it lacked jurisdiction over an insurance company's lawsuit seeking to void a workers' compensation policy based on alleged material misrepresentations, a Massachusetts Appeals Court panel ruled Sept. 9, finding that the company failed to exhaust all administrative procedures before filing the action (Merchants Insurance Group v. Kevin Spicer, et al., No. 14-P-798, Mass. App.; 2015 Mass. App. LEXIS 136).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts appellate panel on Sept. 3 affirmed a lower court decision that a dispute between an insolvent insurer and a workers' compensation trust fund are the jurisdiction of an administrative board (Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Company v. Workers' Compensation Trust Fund, No.13-P-1982, Mass. App.; Mass. App. LEXIS 131).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts appellate court panel on Sept. 3 affirmed an administrative board's ruling that an insurer in liquidation has no right to reimbursement of workers' compensation cost-of-living increase payments (The Home Insurance Company v. Workers' Compensation Trust Fund, No.14-P-1356, Mass. App.; Mass. App. LEXIS 129).
ROCK HILL, S.C. - South Carolina Supreme Court guidance indicates that the workers' compensation statute acts as a statute of repose, eliminating claims forming the basis of a putative class action over the allegedly improperly handling asbestos bankruptcy trust claims, a federal judge affirmed Aug. 27 (Odell Parker, et al. v. Asbestos Processing LLC, et al., No. 11-1800, D. S.C., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113574).
SEATTLE - Allegations of contemporaneous symptoms after asbestos exposure do not trigger the intentional tort exemption to workers' compensation exclusivity because there is no way the employer could have known for certain that the exposure would lead to a man's mesothelioma, a Washington appellate panel held Aug. 24 (John M. Kalahar and Peggy L. Kalahar v. Alcoa Inc., No. 72635-8-I, Wash. App., Div. 1).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri power plant failed to show that it was the statutory employer of a repairman and thus entitled to the protection of the workers' compensation exclusivity after the worker was injured while performing a repair, a Missouri appellate panel ruled Aug. 18, reversing a trial court's decision (James E. Eaker v. Kansas City Power & Light Company, No. WD77851, Mo. App., Western Dist.; 2015 Mo. App. LEXIS 822).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer on Aug. 18 asked a Pennsylvania court to approve a nearly $16 million commutation payment from a reinsurer of certain workers' compensation, general liability and automobile liability policies (In re: Reliance Insurance Co. in liquidation, No. 1 REL 2001, Pa. Cmwlth.).
RICHMOND, Va. - A former Verizon Corporate Services Group Inc. contract worker failed to show that he was eligible to receive overtime wages or that he was discharged for refusing to work more than 40 hours per week without compensation, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 5 in a per curiam opinion (Robert Schmidt v. Bartech Group, Inc., et al., No. 14-2321, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13663).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - An Illinois appeals court panel on July 7 upheld a trial court's dismissal of a man's petition seeking reversal of a default judgment awarded to the insurance company that issued his workers' compensation policy, holding that the lower court, rather than the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission, had jurisdiction over whether the man misrepresented the number of employees who worked for his company (Pekin Insurance Company v. Tyree Campbell, d/b/a Campbell Construction & Improvement, No. 4-14-0955, Ill. App., 4th Dist.; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 523).
DETROIT - A plan administrator did not err in denying long-term disability benefits to a claimant because the administrator's interpretation of the policy's offset provision and calculation of the claimant's workers' compensation benefits were reasonable, a Michigan federal judge said July 7 (Kyle Kennard v. Means Industries Inc., No. 11-15079, E.D. Mich.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87652).
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on July 1 adopted a magistrate judge's recommendation to accept a woman's decision to plead guilty to one count of health care fraud for billing the West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commission Workers Compensation Old Fund for services she was not providing (United States of America v. Sherri J. Slaven, No. 15-cr-00053, N.D. W.Va.).