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Friday, January 28, 2011

The RICO Consequences of Managing Health Care in Workers Compensation

It is one thing to provide workers' compensation coverage to injured employers and it is another issue how involved an employer can be in managing  medical care. That right was never addressed by the crafters of the workers' compensation system almost a century ago.

That dilemma is now being addressed by a Federal Judge in Colorado where a class action lawsuit pending against Wal-Mart for micro-managing and restricting medical care to injured workers.  Brooks Magratten, Esq, has addressed these issues in a recently authored article. "Class Action Attacks Wal-Mart Health Care Model." 25 No. 13 WJEMP 1 (Jan. 25, 2011). The landmark action has the potential to expand workers compensation medical care into the umbrella of a national universal medical care system.

The plaintiffs in the pending action, all former and present Wal-Mart employees, are seeking treble damages against the mega-corporation, with an aggregate market value of $108.8 Billion, for interfering with medical care. Judge Robert Blackburn has denied Wal-Mart's motion to dismiss, now setting the stage for a definitive test of the workers' compensation medical system nationally.