Five Things You Need to Know: Tuesday Edition



On Your Mark, Get Set... STOP?!

    • Jeffrey Chalfont twisted his knee on the job as an Australian public servant in 1993. Ever since, the government has paid for his "exercise shoes," according to the Canberra Times. Reporter Noel Towell writes that Chalfont has lost a recent bid requesting pay continuance of his trainers. Not only did the Administrative Appeals Tribunal deny his request, but doubted considerably the extent and length of his injury, as taxpayers had been footing the bill for almost 25 years. Towell writes, "Comcare has confirmed that (it) has shelled out six times for trainers for Mr. Chalfont since 1995, although the dollar figures on what was spent were not available, after a GP said he should have 'footwear incorporating arch support, energy absorbent soles and a rocker heel' to help with his knee and back pain.'" It was also implied that Chalfont should not only have one, but two pairs of shoes — one for everyday wear and the other for exercising.

Overhaul in Illinois?

    • According to reporter Carol Ostrow of the Sangamon Sun in Illinois, private-sector businesses in the state seem to bear most of the responsibility for workers' compensation. These businesses also happen to have one of the highest premiums in the Midwest. Ostrow writes, "...taxpayers shell out over $400 million annually for the program." Analysts are calling for a system overhaul. "While the state pays $132 million per year and counties pay $45 million annually, municipalities shell out $225 million annually — registering as the third-most expensive item for municipal governments." In order to decrease costs, Illinois Policy Institute Marketing Manager Eric Kohn said the burden needs to be shifted from taxpayers, who already pay high property taxes, and the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act needs to be reformed.

 California's Bay Area Sees Lower Claim Costs

    • Claim costs are down in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to a report released on Sunday by the California Workers' Compensation Institute. "Bay Area residents account for 17.5 percent of California job injury claims but only 15 percent of claim costs," according to the Insurance Journal. The area also has some of the highest wages for California. Reasons for lower claim costs include: "...faster notifications and less delay in initial treatment; fewer medical visits and lower treatment costs; less attorney involvement; shorter claim durations; fewer claims resulting in permanent disability." The report includes almost 330,000 claims filed by Bay Area residents for accidents in 2005-2015, for $4.4 billion dollars-worth of injury benefit payments.

Ohio Trial Date Set for Multimillion-Dollar Civil Suit

    • The trial date has been set for a multimillion-dollar civil action suit in Warren, OH. Five current and former employees allege Trumbull County Engineer Randy Smith of "open animus toward persons who were involved in supporting Smith’s political opponents or who he believed were associated with his political opponents and / or persons who were engaged in union activities while employed by the Engineer’s Office,” according to the suit. Reporter Guy Vogrin of the Tribune Chronicle reports the trial date has been set for Nov. 6 before Magistrate Judge George J. Limbert in Youngstown. "The lawsuit states Smith’s actions 'had a chilling effect' on each plaintiff’s freedom of association and equal protection rights established by the First and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The suit lists the actions as posting a list of purported union sympathizers in the workplace and taking adverse actions against each person named, as well as a general disparate job treatment." 

Paying for Pot in New Jersey

    • Andrew Watson was injured while on the job at 84 Lumber in Pleasantville, NJ. He qualified for the state's medicinal marijuana program in 2014 after a hand injury, but stopped using it when his employer wouldn't pay for it, according to Reporter Susan Livio of The employer will now have to pick up the tab, "...according to a state administrative law judge ruling in what appears to be the first decision of its kind in the state." The judge cited Watson's "improved pain management" and "greater level of functionality," according to the article.


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