Five Things to Catch Up On: 6/17, Weekend Edition


Sarasota, FL ( -

1) TX: Work Comp Commission Appoints New Director (FRIDAY)

Cassie Brown has been appointed to be the next Commissioner of Workers’ Compensation at the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) until the end of her term on Feb. 1, 2019, according to Insurance Journal. Former Commissioner Ryan Brannan left in May. “…Brown currently is deputy commissioner for Regulatory Policy at the Texas Department of Insurance, where she has served since 2011. Previously, she served as a policy advisor to Gov. Rick Perry,” per the article. 

2) More Work Comp Cost Savings Announced in FL (THURSDAY)

“On Wednesday, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced additional workers’ compensation cost reductions that will save carriers an estimated nearly $20 million in 2019, allowing carriers to help further alleviate costs on Florida businesses,” according to the Florida Trend. “These reductions are a direct result of the sound financial management of the Workers’ Compensation Administration Trust Fund (WCATF) and the Special Disability Trust Fund (SDTF), two funds that workers’ compensation carriers contribute to.” For more information, click here for coverage.  

3) LA: $1M in Damages Requested in Alleged Unsafe Work Environment Lawsuit (WEDNESDAY)

New Orleans resident Michael Carradine has filed a lawsuit against Baywater Drilling, alleging that while employed as a barge worker off the coast, he damaged discs in his back while transporting a steel beam on the Timbalier barge, writes Justin Stoltzfus of the Louisiana Record. He alleges an unsafe work environment led to the accident. “…The complaint seeks to recover past medical expenses estimated at $3,500, as well as maintenance of $55 a day and economic damages in an amount to be proved at trial,” per the article. Carradine requests trial-by-jury, all compensation/wages, earnings and medical compensation, totaling at about $1 million.

4) RI: Widow of Contractor Who Died on the Job to Receive WV Work Comp Benefits (TUESDAY)

“The widow of a Rhode Island man killed at a South Charleston hotel while on the job in West Virginia is entitled to collect West Virginia workers’ compensation benefits, the state Supreme Court has ruled,” writes Rusty Marks of the WV News. “The decision overturned a ruling by the state Workers’ Compensation Board of Review that Louise Moran was not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in West Virginia because she had previously been awarded benefits in Rhode Island.” Moran’s husband, William, traveled to West Virginia with other contracted workers in 2012 to install fiber-optic cables for the local National Guard. The workers and William were found dead at their hotel the next morning after checking in, due to carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty exhaust vent near the swimming pool. Louise was able to receive benefits in only Rhode Island, because the amount was greater there than West Virginia. Her Rhode Island payments stopped in 2014, as she came to a settlement in civil court. 

5) OK Comp Commission Hires Former EPA Aide (MONDAY)

“…A former aide to embattled EPA director Scott Pruitt who has come under scrutiny for getting a significant pay bump has been hired to a position with the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission,” writes K. Querry of KFOR-TV. Sarah Greenwalt was voted in last week as the Commission’s new general counsel. “…Greenwalt (with an extensive legal background in the Washington, DC area) will provide counsel for all legal, operational and regulatory concerns within the commission,” per the article. She will start at the end of June. After becoming well known for her previous 52 percent raise at the EPA, Pruitt “reversed” the decision after an influx of negative feedback from the general public.

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