Copyright

(c) 2018 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

President Obama Tightens Bangladesh Trade Over Worker Safety Issues

TO MODIFY DUTY-FREE TREATMENT UNDER THE
GENERALIZED SYSTEM OF PREFERENCES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION
1. Section 502(b)(2)(G) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (the "1974 Act") (19 U.S.C.
2462(b)(2)(G)), provides that the President shall not designate any country a beneficiary developing country under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) if such country has not taken or is not taking steps to afford internationally recognized worker rights to workers in the country (including any designated zone in that country). Section 502(d)(2) of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2462(d)(2)) provides that, after complying with the requirements of section 502(f)(2) of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2462(f)(2)), the President shall withdraw or suspend the designation of any country as a beneficiary developing country if, after such designation, the President determines that as the result of changed circumstances such country would be barred from designation as a beneficiary developing country under section 502(b)(2) of the 1974 Act. Section 502(f)(2) of the 1974 Act requires the President to notify the Congress and the country cocerned at least 60 days before terminating its designation as a beneficiary developing country for purposes of the GSP.
2. Having considered the factors set forth in section 502(b)(2)(G) and providing the notification called for in section 502(f)(2), I have determined pursuant to section 502(d) of the 1974 Act, that it is appropriate to suspend Bangladesh's designation as a GSP beneficiary developing country because it has not taken or is not taking steps to afford internationally recognized worker rights to workers in the country. In order to reflect the suspension of Bangladesh's status as a beneficiary developing country under the GSP, I have determined that it is appropriate to modify general notes 4(a) and 4(b)(i) of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS).
3. Section 503(c)(2)(A) of the 1974 Act provides that beneficiary developing countries, except those designated as least-developed beneficiary developing countries or beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries as provided in section 503(c)(2)(D) of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2463(c)(2)(D)), are subject to competitive need limitations on the preferential treatment afforded under the GSP to eligible articles.
4. Pursuant to section 503(c)(2)(A) of the 1974 Act, I have determined that in 2012 certain beneficiary developing countries exported eligible articles in quantities exceeding
the applicable competitive need limitations, and I therefore terminate the duty-free treatment for such articles from such beneficiary developing countries.
5. Section 503(c)(2)(F)(i) of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2463(c)(2)(F)(i)) provides that the President may disregard the competitive need limitation provided in section 503(c)(2)(A)(i)(II) of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2463(c)(2)(A)(i)(II)) with respect to any eligible article from any beneficiary developing country, if the aggregate appraised value of the imports of such article into the United States during the preceding calendar year does not exceed an amount set forth in section 503(c)(2)(F)(ii) of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2463(c)(2)(F)(ii)).
6. Pursuant to section 503(c)(2)(F)(i) of the 1974 Act, I have determined that the competitive need limitation provided in section 503(c)(2)(A)(i)(II) of the 1974 Act should be disregarded with respect to certain eligible articles from certain beneficiary developing countries.
7. Section 503(d)(1) of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2463(d)(1)) provides that the President may waive the application of the competitive need limitations in section 503(c)(2) of the 1974 Act with respect to any eligible article from any beneficiary developing country if certain conditions are met.
8. Pursuant to section 503(d)(1) of the 1974 Act, I have received the advice of the United States International Trade Commission on whether any industry in the United States is likely to be adversely affected by waivers of the competitive need limitations provided in section 503(c)(2), and I have determined, based on that advice and on the considerations described in sections 501 and 502(c) of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2462(c)) and after giving great weight to the considerations in section 503(d)(2) of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2463(d)(2)), that such waivers are in the national economic interest of the United States. Accordingly, I have determined that the competitive need limitations of section 503(c)(2) of the 1974 Act should be waived with respect to certain eligible articles from certain beneficiary developing countries.
9. Section 503(d)(4)(B)(ii) of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2463(d)(4)(B)(ii)) provides that the President should revoke any waiver of the application of the competitive need limitations that has been in effect with respect to an article for 5 years or more if the beneficiary developing country has exported to the United States during the preceding calendar year an amount that exceeds the quantity set forth in section 503(d)(4)(B)(ii)(I) or section 503(d)(4)(B)(ii)(II) of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2463(d)(4)(B)(ii)(I) and 19 U.S.C. 2463(d)(4)(B)(ii)(II)).
10. Pursuant to section 503(d)(4)(B)(ii) of the 1974 Act, I have determined that in 2012 certain beneficiary developing countries exported eligible articles for which a waiver has been in effect for 5 years or more in quantities exceeding the applicable limitation set forth in section 503(d)(4)(B)(ii)(I) or section 503(d)(4)(B)(ii)(II) of the 1974 Act, and I therefore revoke said waivers.
11. Section 604 of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2483) authorizes the President to embody in the HTS the substance of the relevant provisions of that Act, and of other Acts affecting import treatment, and actions thereunder, including removal, modification, continuance, or imposition of any rate of duty or other import restriction.
12. Presidential Proclamation 6763 of December 23, 1994, implemented the trade agreements resulting from the Uruguay Round of multilateral negotiations, including Schedule XX—United States of America, annexed to the Marrakesh Protocol to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (Schedule XX). In order to maintain the intended tariff treatment for certain products covered in Schedule XX, I have determined that technical corrections to the HTS are necessary.
13. Presidential Proclamation 7011 of June 30, 1997, implemented modifications of the World Trade Organization Ministerial Declaration on Trade in Information Technology Products (the "ITA") for the United States. Products included in Attachment B to the ITA are entitled to duty-free treatment wherever classified. Presidential Proclamation 8840 of June 29, 2012, implemented certain technical corrections are necessary to the HTS in order to maintain the intended tariff treatment for certain products covered in Attachment B. I have determined that certain additional technical corrections are necessary to conform the HTS to the changes made by Presidential Proclamation 8840.
14. Presidential Proclamation 8818 of May 14, 2012, implemented U.S. tariff commitments under the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement and incorporated by reference Publication 4320 of the United States International Trade Commission, entitled "Modifications to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States to Implement the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement." Presidential Proclamation 8894 of October 29, 2012, made modifications to the HTS to correct technical errors and omissions in Annexes I and II to Publication 4320. I have determined that a modification is necessary to correct an additional omission.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including but not limited to title V and section 604 of the 1974 Act, do proclaim that:
(1) The designation of Bangladesh as a beneficiary developing country under the GSP is suspended on the date that is 60 days after the date this proclamation is published in the Federal Register.
(2) In order to reflect the suspension of benefits under the GSP with respect to Bangladesh, general notes 4(a) and 4(b)(i) of the HTS are modified as set forth in section A of Annex I to this proclamation by deleting "Bangladesh" from the list of independent countries and least developed countries, effective with respect to articles entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after the date that is 60 days after the date this proclamation is published in the Federal Register.
(3) In order to provide that one or more countries should no longer be treated as beneficiary developing countries with respect to one or more eligible articles for purposes of the GSP, the Rates of Duty 1–Special subcolumn for the corresponding HTS subheadings and general note 4(d) of the HTS are modified as set forth in sections B and C of Annex I to this proclamation.
(4) The modifications to the HTS set forth in sections B and C of Annex I to this proclamation shall be effective with respect to the articles entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after the dates set forth in the relevant sections of Annex I.
(5) The competitive need limitation provided in section 503(c)(2)(A)(i)(II) of the 1974 Act is disregarded with respect to the eligible articles in the HTS subheadings and to the beneficiary developing countries listed in Annex II to this proclamation.
(6) A waiver of the application of section 503(c)(2) of the 1974 Act shall apply to the articles in the HTS subheadings and to the beneficiary developing countries set forth in Annex III to this proclamation.
(7) In order to provide the intended tariff treatment to certain products as set out in Schedule XX, the HTS is modified as set forth in section A of Annex IV to this proclamation.
(8) In order to conform the HTS to certain technical corrections made to provide the intended tariff treatment to certain products as set out in the ITA, the HTS is modified as set forth in section B of Annex IV to this proclamation.
(9) In order to provide the intended tariff treatment to certain goods from Colombia, the HTS is modified as set forth in section C of Annex IV to this proclamation.
(10) The modifications to the HTS set forth in Annex IV to this proclamation shall be effective with respect to the articles entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after the dates set forth in the relevant sections of Annex IV.
(11) Any provisions of previous proclamations and Executive Orders that are inconsistent with the actions taken in this proclamation are superseded to the extent of such inconsistency.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-seventh day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.
BARACK OBAMA

Friday, June 28, 2013

FDA Closes Down Illegal On-Line Pharmacies

Operation Pangea VI combats online sale and distribution of unapproved prescription medicines 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in partnership with international regulatory and law enforcement agencies, took action this week against more than 9,600 websites that illegally sell potentially dangerous, unapproved prescription medicines to consumers. These actions include the issuance of regulatory warnings, and seizure of offending websites and $41,104,386 worth of illegal medicines worldwide.


The action occurred as part of the 6th annual International Internet Week of Action (IIWA), a global cooperative effort to combat the online sale and distribution of potentially counterfeit and illegal medical products. As part of this year’s international effort – Operation Pangea VI – the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations, in coordination with the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado, seized and shut down 1,677 illegal pharmacy websites. The effort ran from June 18 to June 25, 2013.

Many of these websites appeared to be operating as a part of an organized criminal network

that falsely purported its websites to be “Canadian Pharmacies.” These websites displayed fake licenses and certifications to convince U.S. consumers to purchase drugs they advertised as “brand name” and “FDA approved.” The drugs received as part of Operation Pangea were not from Canada, and were neither brand name nor FDA approved. These websites also used certain major U.S. pharmacy retailer names to trick U.S. consumers into believing an affiliation existed with these retailers.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

CMS Consolidates Web Portals for Coordination of Benefits & Recovery

The Coordination of Benefits and Medicare Secondary Payer Recovery sections on the Medicare tab of the CMS.Gov Web Site have been combined into a single, comprehensive section titled, Coordination of Benefits & Recovery.  

The Web Site redesign consolidates information into groupings by audience and topic. To
access the new web pages, go to www.cms.gov and click on the Medicare tab near the top of the page. Once the Medicare page loads, scroll down to the Coordination of Benefits & Recovery section and select any of the links available.

CMS provides the ability for you to be automatically notified when changes are made to a section under Coordination of Benefits & Recovery. 

To sign-up for these notifications, select one of the Web Site links (e.g. Insurer Services) and click on the Sign-up Notification link found in the Related Links area near the bottom of the page. You will be asked to supply your email address and then be taken to a selection page. Scroll to the Coordination of Benefits & Recovery heading and select the section or sections for which you wish to receive notifications. When new information is added to a section you have selected, you will be notified via email.

For those users that regularly visit the Web Site, short-cut links have been created for ease of access:

Coordination of Benefits & Recovery Overview: http://go.cms.gov/cobro  

Attorney Services:  http://go.cms.gov/attorney

Beneficiary Services:   http://go.cms.gov/bene

COBA Trading Partners:  http://go.cms.gov/cobatp

Employer Services:  http://go.cms.gov/employer

Insurer Services:  http://go.cms.gov/insurer

Prescription Drug Assistance Programs:   http://go.cms.gov/pdap

Provider Services:   http://go.cms.gov/provider
  
Mandatory Insurer Reporting For Group Health Plans:  http://go.cms.gov/mirghp 

Mandatory Insurer Reporting For Non Group Health Plan:  http://go.cms.gov/mirnghp

Workers’ Compensation Medicare Set-Aside Arrangements:  http://go.cms.gov/wcmsa


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Serious Safety Hazards Results in $49,600 in Fines for Paterson NJ Contractor

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Paterson-based R.E. General Contractor LLC for alleged repeat and serious violations of occupational safety standards found while workers replaced a roof on a commercial building at 500 Grand St. in Paterson. The general contractor faces a total of $49,600 in proposed fines following a December 2012 imminent danger inspection by OSHA's Hasbrouck Heights Area Office.

Two repeat violations, with a $46,800 penalty, were cited for exposing workers to fall hazards of
approximately 50 feet while workers engaged in roofing work without fall protection in place. Workers also used an extension ladder that did not extend at least 3 feet above the upper landing surface. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. OSHA cited similar violations in 2008, 2010 and 2011.

One serious violation, carrying a $2,800 fine, resulted from the failure to provide workers with hard hat protection while working near the forks of a material boom lift. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

"OSHA will not tolerate this company's continuous disregard for adequate fall protection," said Lisa Levy, director of OSHA's Hasbrouck Heights Area Office. "Employers have a responsibility to ensure that workers exposed to fall hazards are provided with the proper fall protection equipment, are trained in its use and wear it whenever a fall hazard is present."

OSHA has created a Stop Falls Web page at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page offers fact sheets, posters and videos that vividly illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures.

R.E. General Contractor LLC has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Hasbrouck Heights, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Read more about OSHA and workers' compensation.
Jan 16, 2013
"Protecting America's railroad workers who report on-the-job injuries from retaliation is an essential element in OSHA's mission. This accord makes significant progress toward ensuring that BNSF employees who report ...
Jan 04, 2013
Repeated Fall Injuries Results in OSHA Fines of $58,000 to NJ Employer. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Beno Stucco Systems of Rochelle Park with six safety ...
Dec 20, 2012
"The employee testimony for the follow-up abatement inspection, required by a subpoena, allows OSHA inspectors to determine if SeaWorld employees continue to be exposed to unsafe and unhealthy working conditions," ...
Jan 10, 2013
The results of this first round of sampling show that while some contaminants were present, such as carbon monoxide, asbestos and silica, they have so far not exceeded any of OSHA's Permissible Exposure Limits, which can ...

NJ Workers Compensation Companies Pay More for Hospital Fees

NJ workers' compensation insurance companies pay more for hospital charges than group health plans, according to a recent study published by the WRCI. NJ workers' compensation statute mandates a closed panel system were the the company must authorize the medical provider.

"The average workers' compensation payment for shoulder surgery in New Jersey was $7,323. Group health plans paid only $4,583 on average, a difference of $2,740, or 37 percent less.

For knee surgery the workers' compensation insurers' cost was $5,547, 42 percent higher than amounts paid through group health plans, which included the co payments and deductibles paid by the patients."

Click here to read: "Study: NJ workers comp insurers pay higher fees to hospitals than group insurers" The Record

Read more about medical treatment and workers' compensation:
Proposed Medicare Payment Reductions Will Impact Workers
Jun 17, 2013
A government Medicare advisory panel reported on Friday that sweeping changes should be implemented to reduce increasing medical costs, including higher costs associated with hospital purchased physician practices.
http://workers-compensation.blogspot.com/


NJ Bayonne Medical Center - Highest Priced Medicine in the Nation
May 18, 2013
The cost of medical care has increased tremendously according to a recently issued report. The NCCI (National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc.) reports an increase in medical costs from 40% in the early 1980s to .
http://workers-compensation.blogspot.com/


Workers' Compensation Jeopardy: Romney and Medical Costs
Nov 01, 2012
Planned changes by Mitt Romney to Medicare and Medicaid will have a dire effect on the regulations of the future cost of workers' compensation medical treatment. Proposed changes to the Federal program will indirectly ...
http://workers-compensation.blogspot.com/


Workers' Compensation: Medical Costs Soar in Workers ...
Dec 11, 2008
The cost of medical care has increased tremendously according to a recently issued report. The NCCI (National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc.) reports an increase in medical costs from 40% in the early 1980s to ...
http://workers-compensation.blogspot.com/


Related articles

Monday, June 24, 2013

OSHA settles with Nebraska-based ConAgra Foods to protect workers from anhydrous ammonia

ConAgra Foods, Inc. dba Lamb Weston, Inc. has signed a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration to protect workers at five of its facilities from the release of anhydrous ammonia from refrigeration systems.

The agreement protects workers at Idaho, Arkansas, Missouri and Ohio facilities of the Nebraska-
based company. It requires ConAgra to implement controls to reduce hazards associated with release of ammonia from low pressures receivers.

"This agreement ensures that ConAgra will protect workers from releases of ammonia by enclosing older LPRs that were not already enclosed, and by providing other controls such as normal and emergency ventilation to prevent exposure," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "OSHA's corporate-wide settlement agreements are highly effective tools for ensuring that companies take a systemic approach to addressing hazards that can injure or kill their workers."

OSHA's Process Safety Management standard requires employers to document that equipment that was designed to meet codes and standards no longer in general use is still safe to operate under OSHA standards. OSHA originally cited ConAgra for failing to determine whether these older LPRs were being operated safely.

Under the agreement, ConAgra will implement administrative and engineering controls at the covered LPRs to control hazards associated with the release of ammonia. This includes building enclosures around equipment that is not already enclosed. Each enclosure must include normal and emergency ventilation that meets specified requirements, automatic switches for both normal and emergency ventilation and ammonia detection alarms. Egress doors for the enclosures will be required to include panic hardware and to swing in the direction of egress.

The agreement is the result of an inspection conducted at the company's American Falls, Idaho, facility, initiated under OSHA's PSM Covered Chemical Facilities National Emphasis Program, established to reduce or eliminate the workplace hazards associated with the catastrophic release of highly hazardous chemicals.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

Read more about "ammonium:
Dec 01, 2012
Secondhand smoke contains hundreds of chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic (cancer-causing), including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic, ammonia, and hydrogen cyanide. Secondhand smoke has .
Nov 30, 2012
Secondhand smoke contains hundreds of chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic (cancer-causing), including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic, ammonia, and hydrogen cyanide. Secondhand smoke has .
Feb 20, 2008
Secondhand smoke contains hundreds of chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic (cancer-causing), including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic, ammonia, and hydrogen cyanide. Secondhand smoke has ...


The 12 Things You Must Do If You Are Hurt At Work

Today's post comes from guest author Paul J. McAndrew, Jr. from Paul McAndrew Law Firm.

Injured workers call me all the time asking me what they need to do to make sure they protect their legal rights.  If you are hurt on the job, whether it is due to an acute traumatic injury (like cutting yourself on a saw), cumulative-trauma injury (like carpal-tunnel syndrome) or some other job-related injury, there are several basic things you should do. If you do not do any of the things on the list below, you may lose your rights under workers’ compensation law

Although there may be rare exceptions to this list,  following it will leave you reasonably secure that your rights are protected:
  1. Report the injury. By “injury,” I mean almost any condition including but not limited to (a) an acute traumatic injury, (b) a cumulative-trauma injury, or (c) a disease or a hearing loss. You should report the injury to your supervisor or company nurse (for clarity we’ll just call these people your Supervisor from here on out), making clear your injury was caused by work. Under Iowa law, you need to make the report within 90 days of the date of your injury.
  2. Make sure your Supervisor prepares a company accident report.  If your Supervisor won’t prepare the report,

Sunday, June 23, 2013

NJ Workers' Compensation Judge Looses Her Own Case

A NJ Workers' Compensation judge was denied benefits after sustaining injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident while traveling from her home to a NJ workers' compensation district courthouse that she was supervising.  

The Appellate Court, affirming a trial court dismissal, ruled, that even though the judge was afforded mileage reimbursement. The Court stated that there was no proof that her commute to work was part of her actual work day. It also  reasoned that there was no "special hazards" incurred by the travel, nor was it considered a "special mission." Therefore, the denial of benefits was affirmed under the "coming and going" rule.

Audrey Kernan v. State of NJ, Docket A-4261-11T4 (Decided June 19, 2013)

Read more about "The Coming and Going Rule" and workers' compensation:

Single Payer A Possibility for New York City Employees

The single payer medical benefit system, a program that brings workers compensation into a universal care program, maybe the future for NY City employees. Anthony D. Weiner, a Democratic Candidate, is proposing the change.

"Vowing to “make New York City the single-payer laboratory in the country” if he is elected
mayor, Anthony D. Weiner on Thursday presented an ambitious plan to create a Medicare-like system for the coverage of municipal workers, retirees and uninsured immigrant residents left out of the Affordable Care Act."

Click here to read: "Weiner Wants City to Test Single-Payer Health Care" The NY Times

NJ Uninsured Fund Cracks Down on Uninsured Employers

It has been reported tat the NJ Uninsured Fund is vigorously seeking reimbursement for assessments and penalties from employers who do not have workers' compensation insurance. 

In a recent case, a former employer was required to reach a deal with the NJ Attorney
General's Office to repay $111,813.00. It was reported that the former employer had to mortgage his house for repayment in order to avoid a potential 18 month prison term and a $10,000 fine in addition to the assessment.

Click here to read: Franklin Lakes business owner must mortgage home to avoid jail in workers compensation case

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Distracted Walkers Are a Workplace Hazard

Over the last 2 days I watched at least a half-a-dozen people walking in the streets with a cellphone in their hands, and totally ignoring all traffic signals and vehicles around them. We are too quick to blame workers for causing all accidents through the use of cellphones.  Pedestrians on many occasions ignore all reason and logic, and walk in front of vehicles oblivious to the world.

Read: Distracted Walking: Injuries Soar for Pedestrians on Phones 

Cell Phone Use Not Just Dangerous for Drivers, Study Finds

"More than 1,500 pedestrians were estimated to be treated in emergency rooms in 2010 for injuries related to using a cell phone while walking, according to a new nationwide study."

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Lesson: The White House Seeks To Enlist LeBron James to Sell Obamacare

After last night's NBA title victory by the Miami Heat*, it has been reported that The Obama Administration is seeking to recruit LeBron James to sell Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act) 


Photo Credit: whitehouse.gov
Perhaps that idea could be mirrored in the effort to defend traditional workers'  compensation programs as more beneficial systems than Opt-Out systems and the denial of benefits for professional athletes.

Read: White House seeks NBA assist on Obamacare

*Heat Melt Spurs To Win Second Consecutive NBA Title
LeBron James had 37 points and 12 rebounds and the Miami Heat repeated as champions with a 95-88 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 of the NBA Finals ....
More at NPR.org:
http://n.npr.org/NPRI/jN414323625_1737920_1737919_Z.htm

Criminal Charges Urged Against Sedgwick

Injured Workers’ Advocates Seek Criminal Penalties for Death After Insurer’s “Callous Indifference, Reckless Disregard of Care”

"Why is it not criminal when workers’ compensation insurance companies kill patients through delaying and denying medical care?"
Several attorneys from the Central Coast Chapter of the California Applicants’ Attorneys Association (CAAA), whose members represent Californians injured on the job, held a news conference today on the steps of the Ventura County District Attorney Gregg Totten’s (DA) office and called for the DA to file criminal charges against a claims adjuster for Sedgwick Claims Services, and against Sedgwick itself, for their callous  indifference to, and reckless disregard for, the health and welfare of Charles Romano, a Ralph’s Grocery Co. worker, which resulted in his death.

“Even after a judge determined Charles’ illness was a result of his work injury, the insurance carrier continued to refuse medical care. Charles soon died,” said Jill Singer, a Ventura workers’ compensation insurance attorney, and Central Coast CAAA Chapter President. “Why is it not criminal when workers’ compensation insurance companies kill patients through delaying and denying medical care?”

Sid Freeman was Charles Romano’s friend, and helped care for him during the final months of his life. “Charles and I were friends for over 27 years.  He was like a brother to me. Charles was only in his 40’s when he was injured on the job. He had surgery to repair his injuries and afterwards contracted a highly resistant staph infection that attacked his lungs, kidneys and paralyzed him,” said Freeman.  Sedgwick, the insurer, refused to pay for the necessary care for the infection. Ms. McDivitt, the claims adjustor, said the infection was unrelated to Charles’ work injury. This lack of needed care led to a horrific downward spiral in Charles’ health. Sedgwick drove Charles to want to die. He said, ‘I’m tired of having to fight for everything.’ Two weeks later, he died.”