News Digest 7-20-2021


California: Riverside County man admits faking injury in workers’ comp fraud scheme

A 24-year-old San Jacinto, California man who faked a knee injury related to his landscaping job to collect workers’ compensation pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony and was sentenced to 24 months probation and $77,000 in restitution. Investigators found him conducting activities that contradicted the physical limitations he described. MyNewsLA


Connecticut legalizes cannabis possession

It’s now legal in Connecticut to possess cannabis, but retail operations won’t be set up for about at least another year. Legislators and other opponents have claimed legalizing recreational marijuana would have an adverse effect on military contractors. Connecticut state law now conflicts with federal law regarding cannabis, a huge impediment for things like workers’ compensation, according to a Connecticut lawyer and senior legislative counsel for the nonprofit Marijuana Policy Project. The Day (New London, Conn.)


Ohio pill mill doctor given probation, forfeits $524K

A former Ohio doctor who had been accused of staging a break-in at his Columbus office in order to file a fraudulent insurance claim of more than $1 million, and running a “pill mill,” admitted the scheme last week and now must forfeit $524,000. The defendant allegedly sold Oxycodone in exchange for kickbacks and came to the attention of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration because of suspected overprescribing of opiates. The former doctor also filed a false claim with the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation. Columbus Dispatch


North Dakota employers to see workers’ comp reduction

North Dakota employers can expect a to receive a $93 million premium dividend, according to Workforce Safety and Insurance Director Bryan Klipfel, who says the fund has about $2.2 billion. Prairie Public


Legal workload expected to increase in ‘return to work world’

Decisionmakers anticipate a rise in administrative claims and lawsuits related to labor and employment matters over the next year due to new regulations and enhanced enforcement from the Biden administration, and the many issues still cropping up related to COVID-19. Indiana Lawyer


Toledo takes cancer-stricken firemen to court over workers’ comp claims

The city of Toledo is taking some firemen to court over workers’ compensation claims that have already been approved under a legal presumption they contracted cancer through their job. 13ABC (Toledo, Ohio)


New Jersey creates new office to fight employee misclassification

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a four-bill legislative package that will create a new Office of Strategic Enforcement and Compliance within the Department of Labor & Workforce Development that is intended to further strengthen the state’s efforts to stop employee misclassification. The office will create a database to track payroll projects, critical steps to tracking and eliminating misclassification. The other bills in the package will simplify the process for identifying misclassified employees and implement stop-work orders at worksites where misclassification is identified. ROI-NJ