Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ladder Accidents on the Rise

When my husband and I purchased our home, we immediately bought a forty-foot ladder because obviously we would be cleaning our own gutters and needed the biggest ladder possible to reach the roof. Our first attempt to use the ladder was miserable. We could barely lift the ladder. After a few pathetic attempts to use the ladder, we realized this was a stupid idea and outsourced the job to professionals. Looking back now, it was crazy to even consider using the ladder given the sloped terrain of our yard and given the height of the home. 

According to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, ladder accidents are on the rise in the United States. From 1990 to 2005, reported ladder accidents increased fifty percent (50%). That’s over two million people, or 136,000 people a year, treated for injuries sustained while on a ladder. Despite the risk of using a ladder, it seems that many still do not follow common safety precautions. The four main problems are: (1) selecting the wrong type of ladder, (2) using old or damaged ladders, (3) incorrect use of ladders, and (4) incorrect placement of ladders.

In my situation, we were likely using the wrong ladder, incorrectly, and certainly did not have it correctly placed. We’re lucky we didn’t end up in the ER. Ladders need to be treated like any dangerous tool. OSHA recommends significant training before allowing employees to use ladders. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fifty percent (50%) of all ladder-related accidents were due to individuals carrying items as they climbed.  To avoid a potentially life-changing injury, encourage your friends and family to practice ladder safety. Avoid using a ladder alone, and always make sure you are using the correct ladder and have it set up properly.

 

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Electronics Plant in Poisoned Water Case

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.nytimes.com

WASHINGTON — Landowners who say a North Carolina electronics plant poisoned their drinking water missed a filing deadline, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday.

The decision, in a 7-to-2 vote, is likely to affect similar suits from the families of thousands of former Marines over what they say was toxic pollution at Camp Lejeune, also in North Carolina.

The case decided on Monday concerned a 1980 federal law that made it easier to sue over environmental contamination, which can be hard to discover and may cause symptoms only decades later. The law said state statutes of limitations do not begin to run until plaintiffs learn of, or should have discovered, the harm in question.

The plaintiffs in Monday’s case said their drinking water had been contaminated between 1959 and 1985 by a plant in Asheville, N.C., run by CTS Corporation. They sued in 2011, after a 2009 report from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Both sides agreed that the suit was not barred by North Carolina’s statute of limitations. The question for the justices was whether a separate state law — a 10-year so-called statute of repose — was displaced by the 1980 federal law.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority, said no. The second state law, which started to run when CTS took its “last culpable act,” barred the suit, he wrote. CTS sold the Asheville property in 1987; the plaintiffs did not sue until 24 years later.

Justice Kennedy relied on a congressional…

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Passaic River cleanup still a long way off

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.northjersey.com

Workers cleaning a section of the Passaic River in Lyndhurst on Wednesday. A much more extensive $1.7 billion plan was announced last week for the lower part of the river.
Workers cleaning a section of the Passaic River in Lyndhurst on Wednesday. A much more extensive $1.7 billion plan was announced last week for the lower part of the river.

It is touted as the largest Superfund cleanup ever, one that will remove 4.3 million cubic yards of sediment contaminated with a stew of pollutants from the Passaic River and even make it safe for people to fish there again without significantly raising their risk of cancer.

This was the pledge from federal officials last week as they unveiled with great fanfare a $1.7 billion cleanup to be paid by more than 100 companies that either polluted the waterway or inherited the liability of past polluters.

But the road to a Superfund cleanup is long and full of twists, and it sometimes falls short of its goals.

Since the federal Superfund program was launched three decades ago, only four of the 14 sites in Bergen and Passaic counties have been fully remediated. Eight sites — including the Passaic River — have been on the list for more than 25 years.

Court battles with polluters and the complexity of removing toxic chemicals from soil and water have long been blamed for the glacial pace of cleanups. Since the time between the announcement of a cleanup plan and when work actually begins is often several years, the scope of a Superfund cleanup usually changes due to everything from technology upgrades to the discovery of more pollution to lobbying by the polluters.

Officials at the…

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Suit Accuses Director of New ‘X-Men’ Film of Sexual Assault

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.nytimes.com


LOS ANGELES — The filmmaker Bryan Singer, whose big-budget “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is set for release next month by 20th Century Fox, was accused in a federal lawsuit filed on Wednesday of drugging and raping an underage boy here and in Hawaii more than 14 years ago.

A lawyer for Mr. Singer, Martin D. Singer, said in a statement that the claims were without merit. “We are very confident that Bryan will be vindicated in this absurd and defamatory lawsuit,” he added.

The suit, which includes graphic, detailed allegations, was filed in the Federal District Court in Hawaii by Michael Egan, a one-time aspiring actor who is now a resident of Nevada. Mr. Egan’s suit alleges that Mr. Singer provided him with drugs and alcohol and subjected him to unwanted sex on trips to Hawaii in 1999, after meeting him at California parties organized by Marc Collins-Rector, who in 2004 pleaded guilty to charges of transporting minors across state lines to have sex.

Mr. Egan is represented by Jeff Herman, a Miami lawyer known for pursuing cases against pedophile priests and representing plaintiffs in a 2012 scandal involving allegations of underage sex against Kevin Clash, a “Sesame Street” puppeteer.

The suit against Mr. Singer creates publicity problems for Fox, which is just starting to introduce its marketing artillery for “Days of Future Past,” a big-budget film starring Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry and Jennifer…

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Apprehensive, Many Doctors Shift to Jobs With Salaries

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.nytimes.com

Workers’ Compensation will soon be impacted by the full economic force and effect of The Affordable Care Act. The economics of the costs of the delivery of medical care will soon be the issue that determines whether workers’ compensation continues as a viable program. Today’s post that is hared from the NYTimes.com highlights the issue.
 

Dr. Suzanne Salamon, with a patient at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, said she has had trouble filling a prestigious fellowship because of relatively low salaries. Katherine Taylor for The New York Times

American physicians, worried about changes in the health care market, are streaming into salaried jobs with hospitals. Though the shift from private practice has been most pronounced in primary care, specialists are following.

Last year, 64 percent of job offers filled through Merritt Hawkins, one of the nation’s leading physician placement firms, involved hospital employment, compared with only 11 percent in 2004. The firm anticipates a rise to 75 percent in the next two years.

Today, about 60 percent of family doctors and pediatricians, 50 percent of surgeons and 25 percent of surgical subspecialists — such as ophthalmologists and ear, nose and throat surgeons — are employees rather than independent, according to the American Medical Association. “We’re seeing it changing fast,” said Mark E. Smith, president of Merritt Hawkins.

Health economists are nearly unanimous that the…

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Sheriff Dart retaliation lawsuit to cost $2.4 million

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.chicagotribune.com

 Sheriff Tom Dart
Sheriff Tom Dart

The Cook County Board next week is expected to approve spending $2.4 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that Sheriff Tom Dart retaliated against deputies who backed his political opponent when he first sought the job eight years ago.

Dart has objected to the settlement, believing he could ultimately win the case, but it was mediated under the auspices of the federal courts, endorsed by the state’s attorney’s office and recommended by the Cook County Litigation Subcommittee, making a rejection by county commissioners highly unlikely.

Lurking behind the machinations of the lawsuit is a complex tale of Chicago politics, alleged jail abuse and public images.

The original case was filed by 21 sheriff’s deputies who alleged that Dart and his subordinates were responsible for the disbanding of their elite Special Operations Response Team at the County Jail. The unit was disbanded weeks after Dart won the November 2006 general election, but before he took office shortly after. During that time, Dart was chief of staff in the sheriff’s office.

The deputies alleged the unit was disbanded to punish them for backing Richard Remus, their former commander, in the three-candidate March 2006 primary election. The deputies contended that the alleged retaliation was a violation of their First Amendment right to free speech and said it resulted in lower wages, lost overtime pay and unrealized future promotions.

In late 2012, a jury awarded nearly…

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Poem That May Resonate for You

Today’s post comes from guest author Kit Case, from Causey Law Firm.

Connections brought me in touch with a poet from Eastern Washington, Charlie Hopkins.  I found that several of his poems describe work, workers, the aches and pains of growing older and the ties that bind us all together.  The following poem caught my eye:

MORNING PRAYER FOR CAROL

“Everything that touches you.” The Association

May she sleep well at night.
Wake without pain in her shoulder.
May her knee and hip not cry out, bringing her too soon
to this world.
May blue jays speak respectfully at her windows.

Let there be peace in her morning contemplation
a perfect cup of coffee in her hand.
May Carol enjoy everything she sees and hears, everything she touches
and tastes.
May she always delight in the face she sees in her mirror.

Let the first incident of the day that would disturb her peace
not happen.
Let her go at her own pace and never tire of beauty.
May beauty flow in her as mercy and as a joyful song.
May she enjoy her garden as she does her flying dreams.

May there always be harmony between us and trust and may our eyes
be creased with smiling.

You can find more of Mr. Hopkins work on his blog, “The Flood Plain – Poems by Charlie Hopkins” and in a published collection of his work, “I Need To Feel You Every Moment In My Heart”, available on lulu.com.

Sometimes, you meet the right person at the right time, even on the internet.

 

 

Uncertainty Over Whether N.F.L. Settlement’s Money Will Last

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.nytimes.com

As intriguing football matchups go, Sunday’s Super Bowl has nothing on one looming down the turnpike in federal court in Philadelphia — with Judge Anita B. Brody the ultimate referee.

Brody, considering the N.F.L.’s recent settlement with 4,500 retirees over work-related brain injuries, has asked both sides to demonstrate that their $765 million bargain will fulfill its promise to compensate every currently retired player who has or will develop a neurological condition such as dementia or Parkinson’s disease.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs and the N.F.L. said independent actuaries and medical experts had endorsed the terms of the settlement. But the lawyers refuse to share any of their data with the public to help substantiate how they arrived at the $765 million figure, and there is growing displeasure among plaintiffs who have not been allowed to see the data, either.

Numbers can speak for themselves, though, and they bring a clear warning: The $765 million could run out faster than either side apparently believes. When one forecasts how many of the roughly 13,500 currently retired players may develop these conditions over the next 65 years, compensating them as the settlement directs could very well require close to $1 billion, and perhaps more.

No one can divine how many players will develop these conditions. But the best data available comes straight from the N.F.L., and it becomes instructive after some basic guidelines.

The settlement essentially…

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