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Workers’ Compensation

Medical and drug costs, rising wages pose comp challenges in 2020

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Uncertainties on rising medical and indemnity costs, along with the continuing opioid crisis are among some of the top concerns of workers compensation experts going into 2020. With rising wages, increasing medical facility fees and new and expensive changes in medical care and pharmaceuticals, many in the industry are concerned about how costs may affect comp in the coming years….

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Legislation would increase comp benefits

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Legislation introduced Monday in Indiana proposes to increase benefits for injuries and disablements by 2% each year over a three-year period. S.B. 202, sponsored by Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage, would increase the benefits paid for each degree of permanent impairment and raise the average weekly wages for computing temporary total, partial and permanent disability maximum from $1,170 per week to…

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Lawmakers consider bill to enhance firefighter training

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Lawmakers in Indiana are considering a bill that would require the board of firefighting personnel standards and education to establish best practices to improve safety and health for firefighters. S.B. 258, slated for a Friday introduction in the state Senate, would also allow the workers compensation rating bureau of Indiana to provide a premium or rate discount toward workers compensation…

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Biometric Suit Not Preempted by Workers’ Compensation Statute

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An Illinois employee of Power Solutions International Inc. (Power Solutions) filed suit against his employer alleging violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) when Power Solutions collected his fingerprints through a timekeeping system without providing consent to do so. Under BIPA, companies, including employers, are required to provide notice and consent to employees prior to the collection of…

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COA reverses for insurance company, against quadriplegic man

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An Indiana Court of Appeals panel has reversed the grant of a quadriplegic man’s motion to dismiss a declaratory judgment action after it found he was not entitled to bodily injury liability coverage under his insurance policy. In February 2016, co-workers Gregory Smith and Nolan Clayton were intoxicated after drinking at an Indianapolis Stacked Pickle bar, and the bar called…

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Man injured in fireworks blast loses appeal for worker’s comp benefits

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A man injured by a fireworks explosion lost an appeal for worker’s compensation benefits, with the Indiana Court of Appeals finding his story explaining how the mishap occurred a bit too farfetched. In 2015, Andrew Hall was working for a Habitat for Humanity of Grant County thrift store when he and a coworker, Alonzo Hill, were sent to retrieve items…

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Former employee wins $225,000 over retaliation for filing workers’ compensation claim

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A multi-national medical device manufacturer must pay $225,000 after a federal court jury found an employee was sacked after applying for workers’ compensation. Jurors in the court of Senior District Judge Phil Gilbert awarded the money as it found plaintiff Dathan Brooks was discharged in retaliation for the claim, but also decided the action was not wilful or wanton, that…

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Trucking firm, insurance company accused of conspiracy to classify workers as contractors

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A trucking company and its insurance provider stand accused of conspiring to prevent its drivers from filing workers’ compensation claims to avoid scrutiny and the potential of them being classified as employees. In an action filed in Madison County Circuit Court, a former driver claims he and others were misclassified as independent contractors, which resulted in them losing workers’ compensation…

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Increase in PTSD claims presents diagnosis challenge

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As more employees file workers compensation claims for post-traumatic stress disorder following shootings and other violent incidents, medical experts warn the condition can be diagnosed prematurely following an event or misdiagnosed altogether. It can be tough even for specialist to distinguish between conditions, experts say. Some employees witnessing an event can recover from the trauma without treatment, others may not…

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Indemnity, lost time greater for older workers: WCRI

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Average medical and indemnity payments in workers comp claims increase with age, a study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute revealed Thursday. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based research group studied how age impacts claim costs, cost components and worker outcomes in its latest FlashReport. The study found little difference in injury rates and outcomes for workers regardless of their age. Injury rates…

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