Five Things You Need to Know: 3/20, Monday Edition

1) San Bernardino Terrorist Attack Survivors Continue to Work Through Workers' Comp System
Survivors of the San Bernardino,CA terrorist attack in December 2015 are still navigating their way through the California Workers' Compensation System for mental and physical health coverage, writes Matt Sawicki of With claims continually modified or even denied, the state investigated how cases were handled. Findings stated: “The fact that several requests were denied and then authorized upon further review suggests that better communication by providers to the county’s claims administrators and better documentation at the time requests were first submitted might have reduced the number of UR denials and IMR (independent medical review) requests.” Valerie Weber, shot twice by Tashfeen Malik, told Fox News she has to fight for the medical resources and treatments she needs. Malik and her husband Syed Rizwan Farook killed 14 people, writes Sawicki. The San Bernardino County Board Chairman, Robert A. Lovingood, released a statement earlier this month, referenced in the article. “This has been unchartered territory for the county, for the doctors, and most certainly for the survivors. But the state’s investigation shows the county has worked hard and effectively to ensure safe, and complete care for the employees injured during this horrific attack. This has been the county’s priority since that fateful day,” Lovingood said.

2) IL Teacher Gets Workers' Comp. Coverage After Basketball Injury
Cook County middle school science teacher filed for workers' compensation benefits after a fall during an after-school basketball game, according to a March 16 blog post by Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck, PC. The teacher sued for coverage, arguing the fall that fractured his forearm was "in the course of employment." The First District Appellate Court agreed, according to the post. The school district opposed the award, saying that the activity was by choice. "The workers’ compensation arbitrator and the Commission sided with the teacher, but a Cook County circuit court sided with the school," according to the post. "Ultimately, though, the Appellate Court determined that the arbitrator was correct in deciding that the game was within the bounds of the teacher’s employment and that he was entitled to benefits."

3) Suicide Rates in First Responders Increase, According to 2015/16 Studies
Allegheny County, PA paramedic George Redner III grew frustrated after he couldn't save a toddler that had drowned, writes Wes Venteicher of He committed suicide seven years later, by throwing himself in front of an Amtrak Acela train in August 2015 close to the family's home in Levittown outside of Philadelphia. "A survey of more than 4,000 first responders found that 6.6 percent had attempted suicide, which is more than 10 times the rate in the general population," according to a 2015 article published in the Journal of Emergency Medical Services referenced in the article. Voluntary reports to the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance, which account for about 40 percent of actual first-responder suicides, measured at 132 nationwide in 2016, Jeff Dill said in the article, organization founder and CEO. "Dill said he validated 16 suicides — 10 firefighters and six emergency medical services providers — for the year in Pennsylvania," writes Venteicher. "... (Dill) consults fire chiefs, family members and medical reports to try to categorize the suicides. The top category is unknown, he said, followed by marital and family relationships, depression, addiction, mental health and PTSD," according to the article. "He has counted 46 homicide-suicides in which a firefighter killed someone else along with themselves."

4) NY Truck Driving Jobs are 'One of the Most Dangerous,' According to Law Blog
"Thanks to an increase in the number of companies that are offering free and two-day shipping, the trucking industry has continued to grow and is still one of the most common transportation methods used in shipping," writes the "The Disability Guys" of Markhoff & Mittman PC of New York. "Sadly, the growing demand and shortage of drivers means that the hardworking men and women in this industry are expected to work longer hours than ever before in an already dangerous job." Why is it so dangerous? According to the blog, it can be attributed to long work hours, poor living conditions, high depression rates, changing weather conditions, other drivers, falls from trucks, poor truck maintenance and violent attacks. "Traveling alone, carrying loads that could potentially be worth quite a bit of money, and having to sleep in the truck make truckers the target of criminals who are looking to make a quick buck," according tot the law firm post. "It’s not uncommon to hear about how a trucker was beaten and part of a shipping load taken while at a truck stop or on the side of the road." Sitting for long periods of time, sleeping on the side of a highway, improper nutrition, and bad weather conditions are also contribute.

5) Canada Man Recovering From Stabbing Will be Entitled to 'Minimal' Coverage
Vancouver, BC, Canada bank courier Keenan Moore expected March 2 to be a normal day, according to a CTV Vancouver story referenced on He was the first victim stabbed in a series of city stabbings that day. "There were four separate incidents along Vancouver’s Broadway corridor, all believed to have been perpetrated by the same 33-year-old man, who police say had no known connection to the victims," according to the article. "Moore was stabbed multiple times with a butcher’s knife, suffering deep wounds to the back of his head and right hand." Moore will "...only [be] eligible for minimal workers' compensation in the meantime," until he can return to work after months of recovery, at least. The shooting suspect is in custody and a family member of Moore's set up a crowdfunding page for his family as he recovers.

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