Monthly Archives: September 2011

The NFL’s surprising occupational hazard: obesity that kills, PART 2

Today more then 350 NFL linemen weigh over 300 pounds.

Earlier this week we shared a post about a surprisingly common illness affecting retired NFL players: chronic obesity.

In 1990, less than 70 players in the NFL weighed more than 300 pounds. Today there are more than 350 who weigh that much. All this weight adds up to
higher death rates for retired NFL linemen than for the general public.

Retired NFL players are more likely to have medical conditions that go along with obesity like sleep apnea, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, and high insulin and cholesterol levels. Put these together and the risk of deadly illnesses like heart disease, stroke and diabetes is also much higher.
So retired players are increasingly turning Continue reading

Cell phone ban for commercial drivers could affect truckers' work' comp' claims

Our post for today comes to us from our colleague Rod Rehm of Rehm, Bennett & Moore in Nebraska.

On Tuesday the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a recommendation that could affect millions of truckers. The NTSB proposed that commercial drivers be banned from using both hand-held and hands-free mobile phones while driving on the job.

While the NTSB is a U.S. government organization, their recommendation is not a law. However the board’s actions may prompt local, state, and federal governments to pass laws that make driving while talking on the phone illegal, even if the driver is on a hands-free device.

If such a law were passed, and a commercial driver is using a cell phone while in an accident, in certain cases the driver would be unable to collect workers’ compensation benefits.

In Nebraska, and in some other states, a law banning the use of cell phones could affect the ability of truckers to collect workers’ compensation. Continue reading

The NFL’s surprising occupational hazard: obesity that kills

Today's NFL linemen have to be bigger than ever.

Most people know that football is dangerous. We see reports of NFL players with every kind of gruesome injury imaginable. Even suicidal depression, it turns out, is a potential hazard of playing football. Of course playing in the NFL is both rewarding and risky.

There is one common health problem among NFL players, however, that usually goes unmentioned. We thought it was a fitting topic for our workers’ law blog because NFL linemen must embrace this condition in order to stay in peak performance. It’s called chronic obesity.

These days, to be an NFL lineman, you not only have to be fast and strong, you also have to be fat. Continue reading

Public reaction to NC workers' comp bill leads to a better outcome for workers

Injured workers and others pack a room in the legislature during a hearing on the proposed bill.

This article originally appeared in the Jernigan Law Firm Summer 2011 newsletter. Without a major public outcry, the original workers’ compensation bill proposed to the North Carolina legislature would likely have passed. That would have been a disaster for workers in our state. We would like to sincerely thank everyone who participated. Let’s make sure that next time something like this happens, we are all equally passionate about protecting workers’ rights.

On June 13, 2011 the legislature passed a compromise bill concerning workers’ compensation. The original bill was a disaster for injured workers. Rights to privacy would have been abolished and benefits would have been cut off after 500 weeks (9.7 years) unless you had a brain injury or other catastrophic injury. The bill was an insurance company’s dream.

Legislators received more comments about this piece of legislation than any other bill introduced that session.

Many of you actively engaged in efforts to oppose this bill. People from all over the state came to committee hearings, called and emailed their individual legislators, and contacted the governor. Continue reading

World Trade Center dust and 9/11 first responders with cancer, time for U.S. Government to stop withholding benefits

9/11 first responders move smoldering debris

This guest post comes to us from our colleague Edgar Romano at Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP in New York. 

Many courageous first responders, who saved lives at Ground Zero, have since been diagnosed with cancer, and yet the U.S. government does not pay for their treatment. This Saturday, September 10, CNN will air Terror In The Dust, an investigation by chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta into the consequences of the deadly dust produced by the World Trade Center’s collapse. Gupta speaks with 9/11 heroes and medical experts about the consequences of the carcinogen-filled dust.

A new study released earlier this week by the New York City Fire Department provides good evidence of a link between 9/11 first responders and cancer. The study showed a 32% greater incidence of cancer among firefighters who worked at Ground Zero than those who did not.

The NIOSH study concluded that the 9/11 debris did contain known carcinogens.

The U.S. government does not pay for cancer treatments of 9/11 first responders. This is because Continue reading