Latest news on personal injury and workers’ compensation.

Fewer Injured Workers Receiving Opioids Under Workers’ Compensation But States Vary

Fewer injured workers are receiving opioids to treat pain than in previous years, as medical providers are turning more to non-opioid medications and physical therapies. A new study of injured worker claims from 27 states by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) finds that both treatments using non-opioid pain medications such as NSAIDs and non-pharmacologic treatments such as physical therapy…

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Indiana Fines ArcelorMittal $14K After Worker Dies in Train Accident

ArcelorMittal has been fined $14,000 after a steelworker died in an April train accident at the company’s Indiana Harbor steel mill in northwestern Indiana. The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports the Indiana Department of Labor Occupational Health and Safety Administration found two serious safety violations at the East Chicago mill, including failing to “establish and maintain conditions of work which were…

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Split appeals panel: Worker waited too long to sue contractor that installed switch for machine that injured his hand

A divided Illinois appeals court has ruled a man injured in a Chicago area workplace accident dawdled too long before suing the contractor who installed allegedly faulty machinery. However, the dissenting justice said the majority “penalized” the worker by unreasonably expecting him to have immediately known the contractor had done the installation. The July 16 ruling was written by Justice…

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Man alleges lawyer mishandled his workers’ compensation claim

A client is suing his lawyer, alleging the defendant failed to properly represent him in a workers’ compensation claim. Peter Medor filed a complaint July 15 in Cook County Circuit Court against The Deratany Firm LLC and Greg Olmstead, alleging legal malpractice. According to the complaint, Medor entered into an agreement with Olmstead on Feb. 15, 2013, for legal representation…

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OSHA concerned about construction suicides, drug overdoses

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is increasingly concerned about suicides and opioid-related deaths in the construction sector, according to agency officials. The construction sector has one of the highest rates of occupational fatalities, with a rate of 9.5 fatalities per 100,000 workers and was responsible for 18.9% of the 5,147 workplace fatalities that occurred in 2017, according to…

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Judge says won’t let opioid defendants use slow federal process to ‘avoid litigating’ opioid claims in IL court

An organization which helps Illinois local governments pool their workers’ compensation insurance has won the chance to sidestep the federal courts’ “black hole” as it pursues its own legal claims against the makers and distributors of so-called opioid painkillers. On July 15, rather than waiting on others in the federal judiciary to decide what to do with the case, U.S….

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Bill aims to require OSHA to develop heat standard

A House of Representatives bill would direct the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to adopt a standard to prevent occupational exposure to excessive heat in both indoor and outdoor environments. However, some observers say it is unnecessary, given that OSHA can issue its own regulations. Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., and Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., on Wednesday introduced the…

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