HARRISBURG, Pa. - Subsequent Pennsylvania Supreme Court precedent allowing tort actions where a disease arises outside the usual bar for workers' compensation claims requires parties to conduct further discovery in an asbestos action, a state appeals court panel held June 17 (Wendy Ann McCloskey, et al. v. Cemline Corp, et al., Nos. 482 WDA 2014, 530 WDA 2014, Pa. Super.; 2015 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1793).
NEW YORK - Pennsylvania law allowing employee tort actions where a disease arises outside the window for a workers' compensation action applies to an asbestos action filed in New York and alleging exposure in Pennsylvania, a New York justice held in an opinion posted May 27 (Venetia Kontogouris, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Inc., et al., No. 190397/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2015 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1839).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Absent solid evidence that a man suffers from asbestosis, he cannot link his lung cancer to occupational asbestos exposure, West Virginia's top court held in affirming denial of workers' compensation benefits on May 7 (James Lawrentz v. Constellium Rolled Products Ravenswood, No. 14-0711, W.Va. Sup. App.; 2015 W.Va. LEXIS 592).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The state's workers' compensation courts properly credited one set of experts relying on case-specific evidence over conflicting expert testimony, West Virginia's top court held May 7 (George A. Vaughan v. Alcan Rolled Products - Ravenswood LLC, No. 14-0817, W.Va. Sup. App.; 2015 W.Va. LEXIS 593).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A Minnesota appellate panel on April 20 affirmed a lower court, holding that the state's insurance guaranty association is not obligated to pay a workers' compensation claim (Terminal Transport, Inc. v. Minnesota Insurance Guaranty Association, No. A14-1284, Minn. App.; 2015 Minn. App. LEXIS 17).
CHICAGO - An Illinois judge on April 2 approved a $60,000 agreement that pays a portion of a workers' compensation lien placed by an insolvent insurer and releases the insolvent insurer's obligations under a workers' compensation policy (In the Matter of the Liquidation of Reinsurance Company of America, Inc., No. 10-CH-06207, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).
FRANKFORT, Ky. - A federal judge in Kentucky on March 31 partially dismissed a chemical exposure injury case filed by a group of former employees of a glass manufacturing plant, concluding that the claim for fraud failed but that their allegations of fraudulent concealment were not barred by state workers' compensation laws (Elbert Cox Jr., et al. v. Koninklijke Philips NV, et al., No. 13-406, E.D. Ky.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41120).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Lack of an asbestosis diagnosis dooms a widow's workers' compensation lung cancer claim, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals held March 27 (Stella Watkins, widow of Clay Watkins Jr. v. Century Aluminum of West Virginia Inc., No. 14-0390, W.Va. App.; 2015 W.Va. LEXIS 225).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 denied a petition for writ of certiorari, leaving in place a California Supreme Court decision holding that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA) does not preempt a California unfair competition law (UCL) lawsuit filed by the state alleging that a trucking company misclassifies drivers as independent contractors to avoid paying payroll taxes or provide workers' compensation (Pac Anchor Transportation, et al. v. People of the State of California, ex rel. Kamala D. Harris, etc., No. 14-491, U.S. Sup.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania state court judge on Feb. 11 affirmed a ruling by a Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) that found that a man who alleged he was blinded when he was sprayed in the face by hydraulic fracturing fluid did not provide sufficient medical evidence to show that his injury was caused the way he said it was (James Dershem v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board, No. 1171 C.D. 2014, Pa. Cmwlth.; 2015 Pa. Commw. Unpub. LEXIS 105).
ALBANY, N.Y. - An employee's death is a separate injury from his disability and necessitates a separate reimbursement claim by an employer, a New York appeals court held Jan. 29 in affirming denial of the untimely reimbursement claim (In the Matter of the Claim of Richard J. Connolly v. Consolidated Edison, et al. and Special Disability Fund, Workers' Compensation Board, No. 518246, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 3rd Dept.; 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 685).