News Digests 6-19-2019

Quote of the day

“If a suicide was substantially caused by events at a workplace, the spouse and children are entitled to weekly compensation.“It’s rare, and I’ve not seen a lot of it, but rare doesn’t mean it can’t be done.”

Vince Quatrini, Greensburg, Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Maine workers’ comp compromise becomes law

Maine Gov. Janet Mills has signed into law a workers’ compensation bill that increases the maximum weekly benefit for injured workers from 100 percent to 125 percent of the state’s average weekly wage starting January 1, and adds a cost-of-living adjustment for fully disabled workers, but omits other proposed reforms including repealing the 500-week limit on death benefits and lowering the burden of proof for psychological trauma. Republicans wanted to leave the system as-is, but they were outnumbered by Democrats who threatened to pass even more sweeping reforms unless the Republicans agreed to a compromise. Portland Press Herald

Florida appellate court rejects due process challenge to workers’ comp law

A state appeals court rejected a constitutional challenge to part of Florida’s workers’ compensation insurance law in a dispute regarding whether additional surgery on a claimant’s injured shoulder was necessary. She had argued that the law gives too much legal weight to the opinions of expert medical advisers, in violation of due process. WLRN (Miami)

Pennsylvania county could face lawsuit over suicide of suspended jail guard

A workers’ compensation attorney says Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania officials could face legal action from the jailed widow of a corrections officer who committed suicide in November, two weeks after he was suspended from his job at the jail. The officer reportedly was being investigated for possible human trafficking and prostitution at massage parlors owned by his wife. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Building materials linked to firefighters’ occupational cancer

Since 2002, almost two out of every three firefighters who died in the line of duty died of cancer, according to the International Association of Fire Fighters. Scientists believe it may be linked to modern building materials. CBS News [with video]

Oxy coverage ends in Ohio

Responding to the effects of the opioid crisis on the state, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation started phasing out reimbursements for the costs of Oxycontin and its traditional generic oxycodone on June 1. The new optional replacement drug is called Xtampza, according to the agency’s chief medical officer.