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).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 22 affirmed a lower court's ruling that a workers' compensation exclusion bars coverage for a $9.5 million wrongful death judgment against an insured after the Florida Supreme Court answered three certified questions in the affirmative (Leticia Morales, et al. v. Zenith Insurance Co., No. 12-11755, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 930).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Evidence that a man suffered occupational asbestos exposure and a workers' compensation court's ruling that it led to his lung cancer are sufficient grounds on which to award benefits to his widow, West Virginia's top court held Jan. 20 (Sadie Page, widow of John W. Page Jr. v. West Virginia Office of Insurance Commissioner and Owens-Illinois Inc., No. 14-0108, W.Va. Sup. App.; 2015 W. Va. LEXIS 42).
ROCK HILL, S.C. - A class action is not the best vehicle for litigating claims from almost 16,000 individuals allegedly shut out of the workers' compensation system after their attorneys pursued asbestos bankruptcy trust claims without first notifying employers, a federal judge in South Carolina said Jan. 8 (Odell Parker, et al. v. Asbestos Processing LLC, et al., No. 11-1800, D. S.C., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37336).
GAINESVILLE, Ga. - A federal judge in Georgia on Jan. 5 dismissed some claims brought by a not-for-profit independent state agency against an insurance company, its agent and a subcontracting company accused of submitting false insurance certificates for workers' compensation (Chesapeake Employers' Insurance Company v. Bruce Eades, et al., No. 13-CV-00209-RWS, N.D. Ga.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 197).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The time warehouse workers spend waiting to undergo and actually undergoing security screenings is not compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled Dec. 9 (Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, et al., No. 13-433, U.S. Sup.; 2014 U.S. LEXIS 8293).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Answering three certified questions from the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in the affirmative, the Florida Supreme Court on Dec. 4 found that although the estate of a deceased employee of an insured has standing to bring a breach of contract lawsuit against the insured's employer's workers' compensation and employer liability insurer, a workers' compensation exclusion and release prevent the estate from collecting a $9.5 million wrongful death judgment from the insurer (Leticia Morales, et al. v. Zenith Insurance Co., No. SC13-696, Fla. Sup.; 2014 Fla. LEXIS 3555).