News Digest 1-17-2020

Quote of the day

“This court concludes that, if the only choice … is between opioids and marijuana, then marijuana is the clearly indicated option.”

New Jersey workers’ compensation judge

New Jersey 101.5



Former corrections employee illegally collected workers’ comp, Connecticut prosecutors say

Connecticut prosecutors this week charged a 31-year-old former correctional officer with illegally collecting workers’ compensation, for allegedly working as an unlicensed home improvement contractor while collecting benefits for an injury he purportedly sustained while working for the state. Connecticut Post


New Jersey court rules employers must pay workers’ comp for medical marijuana

Companies in New Jersey have to pay for the medical marijuana of employees receiving worker’s comp, state judges have ruled in a case involving a construction company employee who was injured in 2001 when a dump truck dropped concrete on him. The judges rejected the construction company’s argument that it should be treated like private health insurers, which are not required to reimburse for medical marijuana, and that marijuana is not a reasonable or necessary pain remedy. New Jersey 101.5


Japan: Survivors of arson at Kyoto animation studio receive workers’ comp

The families of victims killed in an arson attack at a Kyoto Animation Co. studio last July say the deaths of employees have been recognized as work-related and that workers’ compensation benefits are being paid. Following the attack that killed 36 workers and injured 33 others, the company held a briefing session on how to apply for compensation. The Kyoto Labor Bureau has not disclosed details of the payments. Kyodo News


New federal injury prevention, reemployment initiative launched

According to the Labor Department, in 2019 the FECA program paid more than $3 billion to more than 200,000 injured workers and survivors. More than 100,000 new claims are filed each year. The new “PEER” (Protecting Employees, Enabling Reemployment) initiative directs federal agencies to reduce total injury and illness case rates in general and lost-time cases in particular; improve the timeliness of overall claims in general and wage-loss claims in particular; increase the rates at which employees return to work within 45 days of an injury and in cases of moderate to severe injury or illness; and make full use of electronic filing. FedWeek


Rhode Island court denies workers’ comp for parking lot fall

An employee was not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for injuries suffered when, shortly after completing her shift, she slipped and fell in a parking lot leased by her employer, a Rhode Island workers’ compensation appeals court has ruled. Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly [may require registration]