Latest news on personal injury and workers’ compensation.

Appeals court says no proof Chicago cops blocked exit door in deadly 2003 E2 nightclub stampede

An Illinois appeals panel has upheld a Cook County judge’s ruling, which cleared Chicago police of causing the deaths of patrons by preventing them from leaving the E2 nightclub in Chicago during a stampede there in 2003 that took 21 lives and injured more than 50. The April 30 decision was authored by Justice Mary Mikva, with concurrence from Justices…

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Illinois House OKs Development of State-Financed Workers’ Comp Insurer

Illinois’ House of Representatives has passed a bill that would create a state-monitored insurance company with the intention of driving down workers’ compensation insurance costs in the state. The House voted 62-43 on a plan that would establish an independent underwriter with a $10 million state loan. It would act as an insurance company in the market and pay back…

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Firefighter cancer presumption a hot issue for workers comp in 2017

Ohio in January became the 36th state to allow firefighters who are diagnosed with certain cancers to file for workers compensation, and so far two more states are seeing proposals for certain cancers suffered by firefighters to be compensable. With presumption laws in place, firefighters who suffer from certain cancers can claim workers comp if they meet certain requirements, which…

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COA rejects woman’s claim that accident occurred outside chemical test period

A woman who drove drunk into a mobile home causing significant damage lost her appeal Wednesday after arguing the state’s blood draw occurred outside the three-hour window under statute and thus did not prove her blood alcohol level at the time of the accident. Elberta N. Jackson was convicted of Class A misdemeanors operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration…

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Justices to weigh limits on worker rights to sue employers

The U.S. Supreme Court said Friday it will decide whether employers can require workers to sign arbitration agreements that prevent them from pursuing group claims in court. The justices agreed to consider an issue affecting millions of workers who have signed forms waiving rights to bring class-action lawsuits over unpaid overtime, wage disputes and other workplace clashes. Businesses have increasingly…

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Study: Opioid prescriptions greatly extend workers’ comp duration

A study on painkillers and how they affect a workers’ compensation claim found that an injured worker who’s prescribed opioids often stays that on disability much longer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medical providers wrote nearly a quarter of a billion opioid prescriptions in 2013, enough for every American adult to have their own bottle of…

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Cost-shifting between workers comp and Social Security disability disputed

The idea that the costs for caring for injured workers have shifted to Social Security Disability Insurance is being disputed by a recent study conducted by the National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. The study, released March 26, is focused on the interaction between SSDI and workers compensation benefits and explores cost-shifting that may occur between the two programs. “There…

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Board Unveils New Case Manager Guidelines, 3.1 Reporting Standards

The Workers' Compensation Board of Indiana has released new guidelines for nurse case managers and will soon unveil new protocols for disputed claim settlement documents. With fewer hearings and more settlements, "the legal environment surrounding Indiana workers' compensation cases is changing," the board announced this week. Documents submitted for approval in disputed claims, also known as "C" claims, will need to go the…

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