Five Things You Need to Know: 10/12, Friday Edition


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1) KS to See Another Decrease in Work Comp Rates for 2019

“…The 2019 rate filing for the workers’ compensation rate (in KS) shows a decrease of 6.4 percent in the voluntary base rate and a decrease of 10.8 percent for assigned risk workers’ compensation rates,” according to Claims Journal. This will be the fifth year for a decrease, per Ken Selzer, CPA, Kansas Commissioner of Insurance, in the article. “…The decreases affect many of the approximately 70,000 Kansas businesses that pay workers’ compensation insurance… In Kansas, 67 percent of workers’ compensation benefit distribution goes to pay medical claims, and 33 percent goes to indemnity claims, according to statistics from the National Council on Compensations Insurance, Inc. (NCCI).”

2) TX: New Work Comp Compliance Deputy Commissioner to Start Nov. 1

As of Nov. 1, former Texas Dept. of Insurance Legal Associate Commissioner Debra Knight will be the new Texas Workers’ Comp Compliance and Investigations Deputy Commissioner. Appointed by Comm. Cassie Brown, Knight has 22 years of experience in the legal field. She was also the former Director for the Policy Development Counsel at the state’s insurance dept. “…During her career, Knight served in the United States Army Reserve, doing tours in Iraq and Ethiopia and retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel,” per the article.

3) PA: Multiple Companies Sued After Forklift Accident

Philadelphia resident and forklift operator George Thomas has filed a lawsuit against Sysco, Omnilift and Turner Construction, among others, alleging his leg was crushed and had to be amputated in 2016 after a warehouse accident, writes Nicholas Malfitano of the Pennsylvania Record. “’…As he was operating the forklift, which (the) forklift was designed, manufactured, supplied and/or placed in the stream of commerce by defendants Crown and/or Omnilift, in aisle DY of the dry goods section of the warehouse, and after placing a load of goods onto the racks, he began to back up, at which point the forklift he was operating struck a concrete and/or metal pole/support beam, crushing his left leg, which ultimately required the amputation of the leg,’ the suit states,” per the article. “…For multiple counts of negligence and strict liability, the plaintiffs are seeking damages jointly and/or severally, in excess of $50,000.”

4) MA Salon ‘MiniLuxe’ Will Pay Approx. $45,800 in Unpaid Sick Time to Current/Former Employees

Boston Salon Miniluxe, with 15 stores in Massachusetts, has settled to pay almost $45,800 after being charged with not paying employees for sick time, writes Marian Johns of Legal News Line. “…MiniLuxe will pay the compensation to 312 current and former employees and has agreed to post information at all its locations regarding the state's earned sick time law and also include information in materials given to new employees, (Massachusetts Attorney General Maura) Healey's Office said. AG Healy emphasized the importance of sick time for employees and their families, and the workplace guidelines that set those policies.

5) LA: Former Local Walmart Employee Sues for a Year’s Worth of Salary After an Alleged Injury on the Job 

Amanda Escobar of Gretna has filed a lawsuit against Walmart Inc., dba Walmart Metairie Supercenter 989, alleging she is owed almost $26,500 after being injured on the job this spring, writes Carrie Brandon of the Louisiana Record. “…The plaintiff was fired from her job after sustaining the injury and was not paid what she was entitled as reparation for her abrupt termination,” writes Brandon. Escobar requests all damages due, and court costs.

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