(c) 2014 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

California Court Limits Caregiver Suits

Today's post was shared by The New Old Age and comes from

The California Supreme Court has ruled that a home health aide may not sue a client with Alzheimer’s disease for an injury incurred on the job. The case is one of the first in the nation to assess legal remedies available to paid caregivers who work with Alzheimer’s patients at home.
The facts: In September 2008, Carolyn Gregory, 54, was washing dishes in the home of Lorraine Cott, an 88-year-old woman with advanced Alzheimer’s. Without warning, Ms. Cott came up behind Ms. Gregory, knocked into her and began reaching toward the sink. As the caregiver struggled to restrain the older woman, a large knife Ms. Gregory was washing fell and sliced into her left hand. Ms. Gregory subsequently lost sensation in her thumb and two fingers and experienced considerable pain.
Since Ms. Gregory was employed by a home health agency, she was entitled to redress for the injury under the agency’s workers’ compensation policy. The question at issue was whether she could sue Mr. and Mrs. Cott (both died last year) for negligence as well.
In a 5-to-2 ruling, the California Supreme Court said the caregiver could not, citing a legal doctrine known as the “primary assumption of risk.” That principle holds that workers who perform jobs they know to be dangerous — firefighters and police officers are primary examples — cannot seek recompense from clients when bad things happen, as might be expected, on the job.
“Those hired to manage a...
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Questions About Who Should Perform In-Office Surgeries

Today's post was shared by Kaiser Health News and comes from

One of the hopes embedded in the health law was to expand the role of nurse practitioners and physician assistants in addressing the nation’s shortage of primary care providers. But a new study questions whether that’s actually happening in doctors’ offices.
Of the more than 4 million procedures office-based nurse practitioners and physician assistants independently billed more than 5,000 times in a year to Medicare – a list including radiological exams, setting casts and injecting anesthetic agents – more than half were for  dermatological surgeries.

That’s not surprising, according to Ken Miller, president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, because when patients are older, skin problems such as “boils, skin tags and warts” are pretty  typical.
“I think that’s where you’re going to see the majority of procedures that are occurring both in primary care and in some of the other specialties like geriatric clinics,” he said.
The Aug. 11 study, published in the JAMA Dermatology analyzing 2012 Medicare claims, is suggesting that nurse practitioners and physician assistants should face higher regulation if performing surgical procedures.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Brett Coldiron, a dermatologist and clinical assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati, said while the “intent for...

N.H.L. Concussion Lawsuits Consolidated

A federal panel ruled that all concussion-related lawsuits brought by retired N.H.L. players would be consolidated into a single suit and heard by the United States District Court in St. Paul, Minn.

Former N.H.L. players have filed about half a dozen concussion-related suits across the United States, with more former players expected to file in the near future.

In issuing the consolidation order, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation said it had chosen Minnesota in part because of its proximity to Canada, where several of the plaintiffs live.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Florida Businesses, Insurers to Fight Ruling Overturning Workers’ Comp System

The battle lines are being drawn in the State of Florida as the challenge to the FL workers' compensation law continues following a judicial ruling that the act was unconstitutional because it has been emasculated by Industry reform and its effectiveness diminished to point of rendering the act void.
Today's post is shared from
A Florida circuit court judge has ruled that the state’s workers’ compensation law is unconstitutional because it no longer provides adequate benefits to injured workers giving up their right to sue.
Florida 11th Circuit Court Judge Jorge Cueto handed down the ruling in a case (Padgett v. State of Florida No. 11-13661 CA 25) that could upend the state’s nearly 80-year workers’ compensation law.
The case has its genesis in a 2012 instance where a state government worker, Elsa Padgett, sustained an on-the-job injury. After a fall, Padgett had to have a shoulder surgically replaced and was forced to retire due to complications.
Padgett, along with several trial bar groups, argued that her workers’ compensation benefits were inadequate and the law unfairly blocked her constitutional right to access the court.
The workers’ compensation system is by law the “exclusive remedy” for injured workers. Injured workers are provided medical benefits and certain wage-loss benefits in exchange for forgoing the right to sue their employer in court.
Cueto, in a 20-page ruling, avoided making any specific comments on the details of Padgett’s case other than to rule in her favor.
Instead, Cueto focused on the exclusive remedy provision of the law, finding that due to the many cuts in medical and wage-loss benefits made by lawmakers over the years, the system no longer represents a fair deal for injured workers.
Cueto singled-out workers’...
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Monday, August 18, 2014

The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer

The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer calls on partners in prevention from various sectors across the nation to address skin cancer as a major public health problem. Federal, state, tribal, local, and territorial governments; members of the business, health care, and education sectors; community, nonprofit, and faith-based organizations; and individuals and families are all essential partners in this effort. The goal of this document is to increase awareness of skin cancer and to call for actions to reduce its risk. The Call to Action presents the following five strategic goals to support skin cancer prevention in the United States: increase opportunities for sun protection in outdoor settings; provide individuals with the information they need to make informed, healthy choices about ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure; promote policies that advance the national goal of preventing skin cancer; reduce harms from indoor tanning; and strengthen research, surveillance, monitoring, and evaluation related to skin cancer prevention.
Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, and most cases are preventable.1–3 Skin cancer greatly affects quality of life, and it can be disfiguring or even deadly.1,4–6 Medical treatment for skin cancer creates substantial health care costs for individuals, families, and the nation. The number of Americans who have had skin cancer at...
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Family of LAPD officer killed in Beverly Hills crash files lawsuit

Today's post was shared by The Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from

The family of a 27-year LAPD officer has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the cities of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills and the company that owns the truck that hit his vehicle and killed him.
Det. Ernest L. Allen Sr. was killed May 9 when an out-of-control concrete truck barreled downhill on Loma Vista Drive in Beverly Hills and slammed head-on into Allen’s pick-up truck, which was northbound on the winding, sloping road.

The collision marked the fourth major crash on the road in less than a year and the second one to kill a Los Angeles Police Department officer. On March 7, Officer Nicholas Lee was killed near the same stretch of Loma Vista by an out-of-control truck that was in the area for construction.
The May 9 collision is still under investigation, but Beverly Hills police investigators say it appears the truck’s brakes failed -- the same issue that appears to have been involved in Lee’s crash.

In the lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Allen’s mother and two children assign responsibility for his death to the truck’s driver for failing to maintain his vehicle; the company he worked for, Over & Over Ready Mix, for hiring him; and Beverly Hills and Los Angeles for designing the road and failing to keep it safe.
After Allen’s death, the city placed a 30-day...
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DuPont wants Pompton Lakes cleanup eased

Today's post is hared from
DuPont wants to clean up its former Pompton Lakes munitions plant — contaminated with a litany of elements that can cause cancer and other illnesses — using far weaker standards than the state usually requires, a strategy that echoes prior attempts by polluters to push for less extensive cleanups at other sites in North Jersey.
In its proposal, which was obtained by The Record through a federal public records request, DuPont says it would leave some of the contaminated soil in place and cap it. Other sections would be excavated, with some of that soil sealed in two old tunnels carved out of a ridge on the property.
The plan is drawing strong criticism from state and federal environmental agencies that must sign off before any action can take place. Negotiations with the company are ongoing.
The proposal is also sparking concern from neighbors whose homes now sit over a plume of groundwater contaminated by toxic substances that migrated from the plant.
DuPont’s sprawling 600-acre campus was once dotted with buildings that made ammunition for the United States for more than a century; a powder factory was considered so vital during the Spanish-American War that...
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