Five Things to Catch Up On: 7/1, Weekend Edition

                               

Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) -

1) PA: Food Truck Explosion Leads to $160M Settlement (FRIDAY)

Plaintiffs will receive the largest pre-verdict settlement in the state, according to reports and Nicholas Malfitano of the Pennsylvania Record. U-Haul will pay Alex Doe $69.17M, and Jane Doe $54.35M, along with $36M to the estates of “deceased mother and daughter Olga Galdamez and Jaylin Galdamez,” according to the article. A food truck explosion led to burns, medical issues, etc. and two fatalities. “…a deteriorating propane tank installed in their truck ruptured and exploded, consuming the truck in flames and creating a street-wide fireball that also injured 11 bystanders,” writes Malfitano. “…Prior to settlement, the case had been tentatively slated to see the inside of a Philadelphia courtroom next month (July).”

2) MA: Work Comp Rates to Be Reduced for FY19 (THURSDAY)

“For the fourth consecutive year, the Baker-Polito Administration has reduced the assessment rate employers pay to the state on workers' compensation insurance policies,” according to the Berkshire Eagle. “Employers will pay an assessment of 3.83 percent on their insurance premiums during fiscal 2019, which begins July 1. That assessment represents a 16 percent decrease from the current rate of 4.56 percent. The rate was 5.6 percent in fiscal 2017 and 5.75 percent in fiscal 2016.” The rates are put together by the state’s Dept. of Industrial Accidents, under the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

3) Like Many Others Cities Across the US, Resort Town in ID Works to Combat Short-Staffing Issues (WEDNESDAY)

McCall, ID Pancake House owner Bonnie Bertram told Natalie Shaver of KTVB there’s a big short staffing problem in the resort town. In fact, it is the biggest she has seen in the town in the last 40 years. A housing shortage is a major contributor to the issue, while 80 percent of workers commute (according to Mayor Jackie Aymon) into the small skiing and summer sports mecca, famous for its mountains, hotels, high-end real estate and beautiful lakes. “…The mayor says the city needs around 700 (housing) units. Some businesses do step up and provide housing when they can, which is what the Pancake House does. The city is exploring many different options to help. Those include working with the housing trust to buy properties for workforce housing, trying to get developers to build affordable housing instead of large single-family homes, and is even considering buying their own land.”

4) FL Resident Will Serve Probation and Pay Restitution after Allegedly Participating in Work Comp Fraud (TUESDAY)

Trinity resident Gary W. Rochevot will pay more than $123K in restitution, and serve five years of probation (first six months home detention) after allegedly not being truthful for the volunteer work portion of a work comp benefits request form, according to Insurance Journal and the U.S. Dept. of Justice. While receiving about $5.5K per month in benefits, Rochevot had periodically volunteered as a cart driver/greeter for a local hospital. “…In addition, federal agents observed Rochevot engaging in routine physical activity throughout 2016, including yardwork, automobile maintenance, house maintenance and routine errands, some of which involved heavy lifting,” according to the article.

5) MI: New Cannabis Insurance Association Aims to Help Local Medical Marijuana Businesses (MONDAY)

Grand Rapids-based Michigan Cannabis Risk and Financial Association LLC will look to aid medical marijuana businesses in their insurance needs. “…Under one deal already in place, CannGen Insurance Services LLC offers discounts to association members for property, liability, product and professional liability, workers’ compensation and commercial automobile liability coverage. Association founder and Director Kevin Cross hopes to have five to 10 insurance and risk management products available for members by mid-July,” writes Mark Sanchez of MiBiz.com.


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