News Digest 10-15-2019

Quote of the day

“In as much as we own the balance of that block, it seemed to be a smart decision to secure it for anything we choose to do in the future.”

MEMIC spokesman Tony Payne, on a real estate purchase in downtown Portland

Portland Press Herald



MEMIC secures new real estate in downtown Portland

Portland, Maine-based nonprofit workers’ compensation insurance company MEMIC has purchased a building that until recently housed an Irish pub, in order to solidify its presence in the heart of the city’s booming downtown, according to a company spokesman. A development company in May pitched a master plan to redevelop an area next to MEMIC’s parcel into apartments, a hotel, office and retail space. Portland Press Herald


Vermont governor touts drop in workers’ comp rates for logging industry

At a news conference, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott highlighted the logging industry’s falling workers’ compensation rates as a result of improved workplace safety and regulatory adjustments since 2016. Rates for mechanized loggers recently cost around 24 percent of workers’ pay and rates for non-mechanized were as high as 54 percent of payroll; now, those rates are down to 16 percent and 36 percent. VtDigger


First responders in Ohio still battling to have PTSD covered by workers’ comp

Ohio first responders are seeing support for a bill that would give first responders access to workers’ compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder, after an attempt to pass such a bill failed this summer. (Columbus)


Authorities bust 17 in Tampa-area contractor sting

Pinellas County, Florida sheriff’s detectives arrested 17 electrical, plumbing, concrete work, painting, drywall and tile contractors last week for licensed specialty contracting violations and workers’ compensation fraud. WFTS (Tampa) [with video]


NYSDOT inspector admits to workers’ comp fraud

Authorities have charged a 39-year-old New York State Department of Transportation motor carrier inspector with illegally accessing driver/vehicle examination reports from state and federal databases to help his own trucking company. While collecting workers’ compensation for a claimed injury, he secretly operated a private trucking company, according to the New York State Office of Inspector General. CDL Life