Monthly Archives: August 2011

Mental Injuries in Workers' Compensation

Today we’re featuring another guest post by our colleague Tom Domer of Wisconsin. Here Tom shares the legal tests that establish whether damages for mental injury will be awarded. For mental injuries following a physical injury, the standard is “Is the mental disability… related to the work injury?” For cases that don’t involve a physical injury, some states require that the stress that triggered the mental injury be extraordinary “beyond those stresses than the day to day emotional strain and tension which all employees must experience.” While these criteria can be difficult to meet, mental injuries are real and can be as debilitating as physical ones.

From time to time, headline stories appear in the national news about workers claiming compensation benefits for “mental stress” injuries.  Continue reading

Employee Penalized For Not Following Safety Rules

In this guest post our colleague Jon L. Gelman of New Jersey highlights a worrisome recent ruling. In the state of Missouri, if an employee does not follow their employers’ safety rules and is injured, their award may be significantly reduced. He points out that this logic works in opposition of what the workers’ compensation act was originally supposed to do, which is to protect workers. With that as its goal, “It would be far more logical to… prevent the unsafe work in the first place.”

An employee’s workers’ compensation award maybe be reduced for failing to follow an employer’s safety rules.

An employee’s workers’ compensation award maybe be reduced for failing to follow an employer’s safety rules. A Missouri Court ruled that reducing an injured employee’s award by 25% to 50% for failing to follow an employer’s safety rules was not unconstitutional. Continue reading

Workers’ Comp Benefits Off the Work Site: Work At Home, Travel

This post is the first of (hopefully) many you’ll be seeing on our blog by guest writer Tom Domer of Wisconsin. In this post, Tom notes that over 18-million people work from home today. He smartly questions the traditional criteria for whether work done from home can be applied to a workers’ compensation claim. 

We are living in a digital age.

After all, we’re living in a digital age. Increased use of things like cell phones and laptops challenges standard ideas of what a work-related injury is. 

A whole host of “Course of Employment” issues accompanies the increased prevalence of work done at home, enhanced significantly by computer technology. Many employees contract with their employers to work frequently or exclusively from their homes. Does an accident in the employee’s kitchen Continue reading

Why is the US Still in the Asbestos Business?

This is another post by frequent contributor Jon L. Gelman who practices law in New Jersey. The post speaks for itself – shockingly the US has still not banned asbestos. We haven’t mined it here since 2002, but we import it from Canada. The fact of the matter is that, as Jon points out “the US imports 99% of the asbestos it consumes from Canada.” In 2010 that was over 1,000 metric tons.

The US still has not banned asbestos. The recently released US Geological Survey just published the latest statistics reporting that 1,040 metric tons of asbestos, a known carcinogen and the cause of mesothelioma, Continue reading