Five Things You Need to Know: 8/2, Thursday Edition


Sarasota, FL ( -

1) MN Couple in Trouble with the State for Alleged Work Comp Fraud 

Couple Mark Andrew Trebesch, and Jennifer Rose Marie Zurn are “…facing felony charges after allegedly forming a company so the man could continue to collect workers' compensation while he made $123,000 doing contract work,” writes Kristine Goodrich of the Mankato Free Press. “…Trebesch received nearly $42,000 in workers' compensation for which he wasn't eligible, the complaints said.” Trebesch received monthly comp benefits after injuring himself on the job, but was allegedly caught later performing manual labor contract work.

2) More States Look at Medical Marijuana as Alternative to Painkillers

“More states are turning to medical marijuana as an alternative to the addictive prescription painkillers that have driven the public health crisis,” writes Khorri Atkinson of Axios. 115 U.S. residents killed each day, on average due to opioid overdose, per the article. Among other states, New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois are all working to utilize this alternative to combat those stats. “…The growing push to swap opioids with medical marijuana comes amid growing tension between state laws permitting recreational and medical marijuana, and the law enforced by the federal government classifying pot as an illegal narcotic,” writes Atkinson.

3) TX: Energy Center Under Fire for Two Employees’ Deaths in Lawsuits 

Children of Houston-based worker Damien Burchett, killed on the job at Jeffrey Energy Center in Kansas, have joined another plaintiff in a lawsuit, alleging a steam and turbine accident caused the two employees’ deaths, writes John Suayan of the Southeast Texas Record. “…He and another worker went to investigate the problem. Upon their arrival on the floor housing the machinery in question, the original petition says, they ‘were engulfed in flesh boiling steam that had filled the room,’” per the article. “…Consequently, Burchett’s estate seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.”

4) Former IL Railway Co. Employee Sues for Alleged Chemical Exposure on the Job

Chicago resident and former BNSF Railway Co. employee David Linder has filed a lawsuit against the company, “…alleging he was diagnosed with cancer and has experienced and will continue to experience pain and suffering, inconvenience, annoyance, distress, loss of normal life, lost wages and a shortened life expectancy,” writes Jenie Mallari-Torres of the Cook County Record. He alleges his cancer was caused by exposure to dangerous substances on the job. “…The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks a judgment in an amount greater than $50,000, plus costs of the lawsuit and other relief the court may grant,” per the article.

5) LA Offshore Co. Accused of Discrimination in Lawsuit

Raymond Pickney of Baton Rouge has filed a lawsuit against Diamond Offshore, alleging white employees at the company were kept on for transfer when a contract ended, and black workers were fired, writes Daniel Beauregard of the Louisiana Record. “…Pickney, who attached a spreadsheet to complaint, alleges every black safety representative was fired at the end of a vessel's contract, rather than reassigned to another vessel, like their white counterparts,” per the article. “…Pickney is seeking a jury trial and compensatory damages.”

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