LIMA, Ohio - Asbestosis refers to a specific disease and not asbestos-related diseases such as lung cancer, an Ohio appeals court held Jan. 25 in affirming a widow's right to participate in the state's workers' compensation system (Fayrene Dennis, surviving spouse of Johnny Dennis v. General Motors Corp., et al., No. 4-15-09, Ohio App., 3rd Dist.; 2016 Ohio App. LEXIS 215).
JACKSON, Miss. - A federal judge in Mississippi on Jan. 25 granted a workers' compensation insurer's motion for summary judgment in a discrimination and insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the plaintiff has failed to show that a genuine issue of material fact exists regarding his claims of racial discrimination against the insurer (Johneveric T. Powell v. Zurich American Insurance Co., No. 14-115, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8176).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A workers' compensation court properly admitted expert testimony linking asbestos exposure with a man's fatal colon cancer, a Pennsylvania court held in affirming an award of benefits Jan. 22 (Garrison Architects and Travelers Insurance Co. v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board [Piatetsky], No. 1095 C.D. 2015, Pa. Cmwlth. Ct.; 2016 Pa. Commw. Unpub. LEXIS 72).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Reports from medical experts that an employee had very severe coronary artery disease and that his sudden death at work was the result of a cardiac event show that the employee's employment contributed to his death, a California appeals panel held Jan. 21, affirming workers' compensation benefits (Star Insurance Co. v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Board and Maria Rosa Tavares, et al., No. H042244, Calif. App., 6th Dist.; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 409).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - An asbestosis workers' compensation claim may proceed because it differs sufficiently from a previously dismissed breathing dysfunction claim, a panel of Tennessee's top court held Dec. 10 (Jimmy Segroves v. Union Carbide, et al., No. E2015-00572-SC-R3-WC, Tenn. Sup., Spcl. Wrkrs. Comp. App.; 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 945).
LIMA, Ohio - Sufficient evidence supports a jury's conclusion that lung cancer arose from a man's asbestos exposure at an automaker's facility, an Ohio appeals court said Nov. 30 in affirming a widow's access to the state's workers' compensation system (Loretta S. Bryant, surviving spouse of Ivan Bryant v. General Motors Corp., and Marsha P. Ryan, admr Ohio Bureau of Workers' Comp., et al.,No. 4-15-03, Ohio App., 3rd Dist.; 2015 Ohio App. LEXIS 4768).
NEW ORLEANS - An employer failed in its efforts to refute a man's claim that it was the source of his last injurious exposure under the Longshoreman and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA), the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Nov. 12 (Ramsay Scarlett & Co., Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, United States Department of Labor, Ferdinand J. Fabre Jr., No. 15-60112, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 19733).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 7 granted summary judgment to Apple Inc. in a class suit filed by retail workers seeking compensation for the time they spent waiting in line for and undergoing a security check of their bags before leaving after their shifts were over (Amanda Frlekin, et al. v. Apple Inc., Nos. 13-3451, 13-3775 and 13-4727, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92768).
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).