News Digest 1-13-2020

Quote of the day

“If I do it 100 times — 90 times, no one bothers me. Ten times, they get a lawyer, maybe I resolve a couple of them, and I get sued by one. I pay out tens of thousands of dollars [for the litigation] but now I’m collecting millions. There’s no incentive to change their tactics.”

Paul Herman, consumer protection attorney, regarding the tactics of debt collectors

Miami Herald


South Florida medical debt collectors repeatedly sued for improper billing

In recent years, third-party medical debt collectors have grown more aggressive, according to consumer protection experts. In 2014, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau published a  study on medical debt, finding that half of all overdue debt on credit reports resulted from medical bills and that one out of every five credit reports contained overdue medical debt, some of which should have been covered by workers’ comp. Miami Herald


Michigan nurses seek tougher laws to protect them from workplace violence

The Michigan Legislature is considering bills that would increase penalties for assaulting a nurse and require hospitals to have violence-prevention plans in place. Nurses are four times more likely to experience workplace violence than other private-industry employees, according to Fed-OSHA, and compounding the problem is that hospitals are required to provide treatment to anyone seeking medical care, even those who have a history of assaulting staff. Livingston Daily


Fired Baltimore city risk manager reportedly disclosed inside contract information

The top official at Baltimore’s Office of Risk Management and his deputy reportedly misused the city’s procurement process to benefit a bidder, according to an inspector general’s report. The two gave a vendor “potentially confidential information” pertaining to an upcoming workers’ compensation contract, according to the synopsis of the report. Baltimore Brew


MSHA to focus on contractor safety and compliance

During the final months of 2019, the Mine Safety and Health Administration advised the mining community that it would pay attention to issues involving contractors working at mine sites, noting a disproportionate number of accidents involving contractor employees. Under MSHA’s recently announced Contractor Training Assistance Initiative, mine inspectors and MSHA personnel will visit mines where contractors are likely to be present to address effectiveness of contractors’ training programs and the safety of contractors, writes Arthur M. Wolfson of law firm Fisher Phillips. Lexology


Six common violations and tips for better brewery compliance, safety

Over the past decade, craft brewed beer has enjoyed a boom in popularity. Here are six of the most common safety violations craft breweries have been cited for, as well as ways they can better adhere to safety standards. Craft Brewing Business