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Latest news on personal injury and workers’ compensation.

States without comp fee schedules pay more: WCRI

States with no workers compensation fee schedule pay higher prices for professional services, though prices vary significantly across the U.S., according to researchers from the Workers Compensation Research Institute’s medical price index study released Tuesday. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based institute evaluated prices paid in workers compensation for professional services billed by physicians, physical therapists and chiropractors in 36 study states between…

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Workers hit McDonald’s with class action over COVID-19 safety

Five McDonald’s workers in Chicago filed a class-action lawsuit against the fast-food chain on Tuesday, accusing it of failing to adopt government safety guidance on COVID-19 and endangering employees and their families. McDonald’s failed to provide adequate hand sanitizer, gloves and masks and has not notified its staff when an employee has become infected with the new coronavirus, according to…

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OSHA releases updated guidance on recording COVID cases

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued revised enforcement guidance to help employers evaluate whether a workplace case of COVID-19 is recordable. While the guidance, released Tuesday for OSHA regional administrators and OSHA-approved State Plans, does not remove an employer’s requirement to evaluate any positive cases of coronavirus reported by employees for work-relatedness, it does provide examples to help…

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East Alton homeowner sues remodeling company after falling down stairs

A homeowner is claiming she was injured after a contractor allegedly improperly constructed exterior steps at her residence in East Alton. Lynda Hadley filed suit May 8 in Madison County Circuit Court against Gregory Kuehnel and Hard to Beat Handyman, alleging breach of contract, breach of warranty, and negligence. According to the complaint, Hadley claims she was residing at a…

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Indiana Too Quick to Clear Amazon in Worker’s Death, Report Finds

Indiana’s safety agency prematurely released Amazon from citations and fines in the death of a warehouse employee who was crushed by a forklift, a federal investigation has found. Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration absolved the online retailer of any accountability in the death of 59-year-old Phillip Lee Terry coincidentally at the same time the state was bidding for Amazon’s…

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Outpatient surgery fees growing for states without fee schedules

Outpatient hospital payments are higher and growing at a faster rate in states without fee schedules, according to a study released Tuesday from the Workers Compensation Research Institute. Researchers at the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based WCRI compared hospital payments from a group of common workers comp outpatient surgeries in 36 states from 2005 to 2018, finding that states that paid a percentage…

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Illinois’ new emergency workers’ comp rule would hold employers responsible for COVID-19 diagnoses

Some employees diagnosed with COVID-19 will automatically qualify for worker’s comp, regardless of how they contracted the virus. UPDATE: On April 23, a judge in Sangamon County, Illinois issued a Temporary Restraining Order blocking the Workers’ Compensation Commission’s Emergency Rule from going into effect. On April 27, the Commission filed notice that it will formally withdraw the emergency rule that…

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Illinois Sues Developer, Contractors Over Coal Plant Implosion

The Illinois attorney general’s office has filed a lawsuit against a developer and two contractors for the release of contaminants during the implosion of a smokestack at a defunct Chicago power station. The lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court alleges Hilco Redevelopment Partners and its general contractors, MCM Management and Controlled Demolition Inc. violated Illinois law and Pollution Control…

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