A HOSPITAL SHOOTING: INJURED WORKERS IN THE NEWS # 41

A tragic shooting occurred in a Tulsa Hospital.  The shooter had just received back surgery a few weeks before and was apparently not happy.  He killed the surgeon, another doctor, the receptionist and a patient.   The shooter then took his own life.

This article will discuss this matter under California Workers’ Compensation Law.  The discussion will be as to who is covered under workers’ compensation for this incident.  Additionally, the article will discuss what an Injured Worker can do within the workers’ compensation system if they feel that their back surgery was not successful.

Who Was An Employee In This Tragic Shooting?

While the tragic accident happened in the work setting, a hospital is a unique setting.  Doctor may have privileges at the hospital but they may not be employees of the hospital.  Likewise, they may be Private Practitioners and may be excluded from workers’ compensation coverage. Private Practitioners, however, may seek to be covered. If they have a corporation and are an employee of the corporation, it is possible that they could place themselves on the policy.  Assuming both doctors were self-employed, then only the receptionist, in this tragic shooting, would have been covered.

In the Workers’ Compensation Setting, How Does One Deal With An Injured Worker Deal With An Unsuccessful Back Surgery?

Back surgeries, in any setting, are complicated.  There are risks involved. Some procedures can take extended periods of time to heal. Some procedures are not successful.  Injured Workers in this situation can seek second opinions. They can also change of treating physician.  Further, other forms of treatment can be provided.  If there was significant pain,  a request for authorization for a Pain Specialist might be appropriate.  Likewise. a referral to mental health practitioner to assist an Injured Worker with emotional issues post-surgery.

Back surgeries can be so complicated that some doctors require a mental health clearance pre-surgery in certain circumstances.

What If I Need Advice?

If you would like a free consultation regarding workers’ compensation, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. We have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their workers’ compensation cases for 27 years. Contact us today for more information.

IWITN #37: The Famous Slap Incident Proves That Hearing Loss Is No Joke

Comedian Chris Rock was famously slapped at the Academy Awards Ceremony when he was a presenter.  He reported that he still suffers from hearing loss as a result of the incident. thestart.com

This article will discuss whether Mr. Rock’s injury would be considered as a  workers’ compensation claim.

Did Mr. Rock Suffer a Work-Related Injury Eligible For Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Most likely yes.  A requirement for there to be a workers’ compensation claim is that there is an employment relationship.  The questio to be asked in a case such as Mr. Rock’s is “who did he work for?”  Whoever hired him to be the presenter would be considered his employer.  It could have been the broadcast company. It would have been the production company. It could have been a casting company.  To determine who was Mr. Rock’s employer, the first place would be to do would be to look at his paycheck.

If Hearing Loss Is Mr. Rock’s Injury, How Would It Be Addressed Under Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ Compensation Law provides for permanent disability and future medical care for hearing loss injuries.  Mr. Rock would most likely be referred to an Ear Nose and Throat or ENT doctor to evaluate him. The other name for these type of doctors is otolaryngologist.  He may also be sent to an audiologist to have his hearing tested.  Mr. Rock would also be evaluated with respect to whether his hearing loss could be corrected with hearing aids.  The medical evaluations will determine whether Mr. Rock had any permanent injury with respect to hearing loss. Likewise, they will determine if he will need ongoing and future medical care.

What If I Need Advice?

If you would like a free consultation regarding workers’ compensation, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. We have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their workers’ compensation cases for 27 years. Contact us today for more information.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF’S HELICOPTER CRASH: INJURED WORKERS’ IN THE NEWS, #23

Five Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies and one Civilian were injured when a department helicopter crashed.  The vehicle was in flight to a vehicle collision scene.  It reported that the injuries were not life threatening.  In the copter, there were deputies including the pilot, copilot, crew chief and two paramedics. Villanueva [the Sheriff] said the sixth person on board was a UCLA doctor doing a ride-along.  Sbsun.com

The fact pattern raises issues of who were employees  at the time of the accident. The fact pattern also addresses the issue of different workers’ compensation benefits for different classes of employees.

Who Was An Employee In This Accident?

From the facts, it is clear that the Los Angeles County Deputies and Paramedics would be considered employees for the purposes of the accident.  The question would be as to whether the UCLA doctor would be considered an employee. The facts indicate that he was doing a ride-along.  Further, it would appear that the UCLA doctor was an employee of UCLA and not Los Angeles County. Thus, his employment, for the purposes of the accident, would be considered UCLA.

The next question would be whether this ride-along would be considered part of the UCLA doctor’s employment.  Did the ride along arise out of and was it in the course and scope of employment? Was there a “nexus?”

A factual determination should be made as to whether the injury arise out of and was in the course and scope of employment. .  Questions such as “whether the ride along had a connection to his employment?” would be of assistance.   Did his department recommend that he do the ride along?  Was the ride along something that he did to assist him in doing their job a doctor at UCLA?  For example, “was the doctor an emergency room doctor?” Alternatively, was this something the doctor did completely independent of his job? As such, there are many facts that must be ascertained to make a decision.  Ultimately the determination would likely be made at the trial level by a Judge. .

For the Employees How Are They Going to Be Paid?

In the facts, there are Deputys and Paramedics involved.  Desputys are covered under Labor Code 4850 for salary continuation in lieu  of total temporary disability benefits.  Paramedics, howeveer, may not be covered under LC 4850.  They may have to look towards their Memorandum of Understanding to determine if they have special temporary disability benefits.

What If I Need Advice?

If you would like a free consultation regarding workers’ compensation, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. We have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their workers’ compensation cases for 27 years. Contact us today for more information.

 

 

 

 

https://www.sbsun.com/2022/03/19/la-county-sheriffs-helicopter-crashes-in-mountains-above-san-dimas-5-hospitalized/

CEMETERY WORKER CATASTROPHE: INJURED WORKER IN THE NEWS #16

In New York City, a Cemetery Worker was crushed by a headstone weight 2,000 pounds. At the time, she was clearing graves.  It is reported that the 53-year- old worker was a mother of 5 and that one of her sons was working with her at the time.

Sadly, she died shortly after she was brought to the hospital.  It is reported that both the worker and her son worked for a third-party company. The family is suing the cemetery.  Dailymail.com

How Can the Family Sue the Cemetery?

In this instance, the Cemetery Worker was employed by another company and not the Cemetery itself.

Frequently facilities, such as Cemeteries or Malls may contract with outside companies to perform maintenance or janitorial work.  Thus, the Cemetery Worker’s family can seek workers’ compensation benefits against her actual employer, the outside company which provided the maintenance, as well as the Cemetery.  The Cemetery, given the facts, would be considered as a Third Party.  The suit against the Third Party would be for personal injury as opposed to a workers’ compensation claim.

What If I Need Advice?

If you would like a free consultation regarding workers’ compensation, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. We have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their workers’ compensation cases for 27 years. Contact us today for more information.

A TRAGIC FLIGHT NURSE ACCIDENT: INJURED WORKERS IN THE NEWS, #8

It was recently reported that both Flight Nurses and Pilots died in a tragic jet plane crash in San Diego.  “[T]he twin-engine jet was registered to El Cajon-based Med Jet LLC.” kmph.com

The plane crash constitutes a work-related accident. Dependents of the deceased workers can seek compensation as well as obtain burial expenses to cover the funeral.  With the limited facts from the news reports, it appears that employment and jurisdiction issues may exist.

Who Are Flight Nurses?

Flight Nurses provide medical care during transportation of patients.  Flight Nurses can serve on fixed wing planes, jet planes and helicopters. Flight Nurses can operate out of a base location. From that location, they can travel throughout the world to provide this assistance.

For example, individuals having a medical event or accident on vacation may need to be transported home.

Is There A Particular Issue with Flight Nurses?

Yes.  Jurisdiction is an issue that may come up with Flight Nurses.  While they may be based in a particular state, work injuries can occur in other states.  Thus, a legal dispute may arise as to which state has jurisdiction to adjudicate the claim.  In some instances, multiple states may offer jurisdiction.  Jurisdiction is the legal term used for the “correct” location to file the action.

In the present matter, it is not clear whether the Flight Nurses lived in California.  If they did, a California workers’ compensation claim could be filed.  From the facts, they may be been employed by Med Jet LLC which operates in California.   Thus, this is also a basis for California jurisdiction.

Who Is the Employer?

While the plane was registered by Med Jet LLC, it is not clear from the news accounts that the company employed the nurses. A determination needs to be made as to who was their employer.

Are There Other Causes of Action?

In this matter, there may be a variety of causes of action.  If the nurses did not work for Med Jet LLC, there might be a cause of action against the plane’s owner.  Further, if the pilots were not co-workers, a cause of action may be applied against them.  Likewise, there might be a product’s liability claim against the plane’s manufacturer.

What if I Need Advice?

If you would like a free consultation regarding workers’ compensation, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. We have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their workers’ compensation cases for 27 years. Contact us today for more information.

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