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Five Things You Need to Know: Wednesday Edition

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Normandy Insurance Co. Eyes Growth in Georgia, and Other States

    • At just about nine years old, Normandy Insurance Co. is in the business of expanding, Insurance Journal reports. The workers' compensation carrier now has two states it offers coverage to: Florida, the first; and now Georgia. Normandy is also looking into coverage of more states, according to its Senior Vice President, Jayson Buechler.

Slick Situation in Connecticut

    • Kyle Fontaine, a 29-year-old out of Naugatuck, Conn. was arrested Monday for workers' compensation fraud, according to WTNH News 8. Reporter Scott Powell writes Fontaine was charged with illegally obtaining workers' compensation benefits while working at the same type of job where he was injured. Inspectors from the Workers’ Compensation Fraud Control Unit in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney arrested Fontaine for "one count of fraudulent claim or receipt of benefits." The arrest warrant affidavit stated "Fontaine collected more than $10,000 in workers’ compensation as a result of an injury he reported suffering in July 2014 while working as an oil change technician in Danbury." He was released on a $10,000 bond and will appear in Waterbury Superior Court on Jan. 17.

Oklahoma Attorney Goes In for Round Two

    • Oklahoma City Attorney Bob Burke is at it again. He challenged the 2013 state workers' compensation law, and came out successful. Now, in a lawsuit filed last week at the Oklahoma Supreme Court, he argued "...the law unconstitutionally bars coverage unless doctors use specific, but vague, words to describe an injury," Reporter Dale Denwalt of the Oklahoman writes. The state law rewrite states that the treating physician needs to identify the injury as a "...significant aggravation incurred in the course and scope of employment.” But according to Burke, “The law has always been if you aggravate a pre-existing condition, then the present employer at least owes you medical care and normal benefits because it's a new injury." He represents injured worker Jesse McPeake vs. his employer Express Services, New Hampshire Insurance Co. and the Workers' Compensation Commission. The high court recently ruled The Oklahoma Option for businesses to write their own policies and opt out of traditional workers' compensation coverage unconstitutional in September.

Trouble in New Jersey

    • An East New Jersey State Prison corrections officer was verbally abused, charged at, and then punched by a prisoner on Dec. 31, according to a statement from the PBA Local #105, which represents New Jersey's corrections officers. Reporter Spencer Kent of writes, "(Officer Daniel) Campione was treated at the prison for 'numerous contusions and lacerations on his head and face.'" He was also taken to a local hospital, and won't be able to work for some time. PBA Local 105 President Brian Renshaw is now calling for the passage of a bill introduced two years ago to ensure officers "will not be asked to receive anything less than full pay for injuries suffered at the hands of inmates inside our prisons," according to the statement referenced in the article. Prison and juvenile detention workers currently are required to apply for workers' compensation, which the union said, "making significantly less than their regular salary."

California Taxi Company Settles With the State

    • Santa Rosa Taxi Co. A-C Transportation Services, Inc. is in some trouble with the state of California. $522,300-dollars-worth, to be exact. Reporter Rosalie Donlon of Property Casualty 360 writes the California Labor Commission has been fighting the company after a "...Stop Order judgment in October by a Sonoma County Superior Court judge for continuing to refuse to provide workers' compensation insurance as required by law." The company has agreed to settle at the $522,300 amount for not providing their staff of 30 drivers with workers' compensation coverage, and classifying them wrongly as independent contractors. As part of the agreement, the company quit operating on Dec. 31, 2016.

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