TACO BELL SHIFT MANAGER MISTAKENLY CAUGHT UP IN A CO-WORKER DISPUTE AND GETS SHOT: INJURED WORKER IN THE NEWS, #57

It is reported that a Taco Bell Shift Manager was shot in his shoulder by a Co-Worker.

Apparently, the Store Manager disciplined the Co-Worker.   Ater the discipline a Shift Manager then had an interaction with the trouble Co-Worker. This interaction led the disgruntled employee to get upset at the Manager.  The Co-Worker, who supposedly was slacking off on the job, got upset when the Manager told him that he could clock out if he didn’t feel like working.  The upset employee then took out a gun.  The Shift Manager tried to get away.  Unfortunately, he was shot.   It was reported in the article that neither the police or Taco Bell has acknowledged the workplace shooting. abc7chicago.com

This article will discuss what the Injured Worker needed to do when his employer is not taking responsibility for the claim.

When A Claim Is Not Acknowledged, What Should An Injured Worker Do To Get Benefits?

In California, there are disability benefits that may be available to workers.  “Disability Insurance (DI) provides short-term wage replacement benefits to eligible California workers who have a loss of wages when they are unable to work due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy.” DIR.  State Disability will be paid when an industrial claim is being disputed.   Technically, an ignored claim is a disputed claim.

How Would An Injured Worker Get Treatment?

There multiple ways an Injured Worker can obtain treatment when a claim is not acknowledged.  An Injured Worker can seek treatment through their health insurance provider.   Also, they may be able to find a provider who can treat them on a lien.  When the claim is resolved, the health insurance or the lien claimant will seek payment from the Workers’ Compensation Insurance.

What Should The Injured Worker Do In This Circumstance?

The Injured Worker should speak to his Store Manager and ask for a DWC-Claim Form.  He should fill out and submit form to his employer.  If the Store Manager is not responsive, he should contact the corporate office for assistance in submitting in a claim form.

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.

ATTACK AT HOSPITAL WITH MEDICAL WORKERS STABBED: INJURED WORKERS IN THE NEWS # 40

Headlines reported that Encino Hospital Workers were attacked a stabbed by an Attacker.  These workers were reportedly in critical condition.  Dailymail.com

This article will discuss the immediate concern on this matter.

What Is the Major Concern with This Incident? 

Given the facts and the assumption that the same knife was used in the attack each victim, it is likely that the workers may have been exposed to each others blood.   Thus, a long term issue is the concern with respect to this injury is whether the workers were exposed to a  Blood Borne Illness.  Blood Borne Illnesses include Malaria, Syphilis, and Brucellosis, and Hepatitis B (HBV), Hepatitis C (HCV) and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).  As such, treatment and monitoring for these illnesses would be part of the work injury protocol.  Thus, besides treating the Injured Workers  wounds and likely psychological injuries, an additional Internal Medicine Program will be included to provide prophylaxis treatment as well as testing and monitoring for blood borne pathogens.

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.

NO PEACE, NO MCNUGGETS AT A MCDONALDS: INJURED WORKER IN THE NEWS, #33

There was no “Happy Meal” at a Boston McDonalds when minors allegedly terrorized the store.  The minors alleged conduct was so horrible that the Manager closed the restaurant.

It is alleged that these minors threw rocks and water bottles as customers and employees.

It is reported that “[a]fter the worker tossed a cup of Coke that got on one of the kids’ jeans, the group ran inside to look for the employee. That’s when one of the juveniles is accused of striking the employee “with a closed fist, causing a bump underneath (their) left eye,” the police report states. Boston EMS evaluated the worker, who refused to be transported to the hospital.” Bostonherald.com

This case will be analyzed under California Workers’ Compensation Law.

If the Worker Tossed the Cup of Coke, and Started the Incident, Would That Impact A Workers’ Compenation Claim?

Maybe. Labor Code Section 3600(a) (7) provides “[w]here the injury does not arise out of an altercation in which the injured employee is the initial physical aggressor.” This is a factual determination.  Prior to the coke cup toss by the Injured Worker, the minors may have already been throwing objects at the worker.  Thus, the minor may be considered as the initial aggressor.  Otherwise, the fact that the minor entered the store to search out the employee may give rise to that event as the initial physically aggressive act.  Alternatively, the tossing of the drink may not be ruled as to constitute a physical act.  Further, the nature of the physical injury may give rise to dismiss the initial aggressor defense.  A closed fist blow is truly a physical act as opposed to a tossed drink that got the minor’s pants.

If The Worker Initially Declined Medical Attention, Would That Impact A Workers’ Compensation Claim?

No.  There is no need to accept immediate medical attention.  Employers initially have medical control rights.  In this instance, McDonalds was responsible to provide the initial medical treatment.  At the time of the injury, the fact that the Injured Worker declined to go to the hospital would not bar the claim.  The Injured Worker, if they were in need of treatment, would be obligated to initially request treatment from McDonalds.

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.

NEWS REPORTER SERIOUSLY HURT IN UKRAINE: INJURED WORKER IN THE NEWS, #28

A Fox News Reporter sustained severe injuries when he and his crew came under attack in Ukraine.  According to reports, Mr. Hall, the reporter, wrote, “[t]o sum it up, I’ve lost half a leg on one side and a foot on the other. One hand is being put together, one eye is no longer working, and my hearing is pretty blown… but all in all I feel pretty damn lucky to be here – and it is the people who got me here who are amazing!” poynter.org

It is reported that he had extensive medical treatment. He was evacuated out of Ukraine. He was taken to Germany and then he was taken to Texas for treatment.

This article will discuss issues of this fact pattern as if it would fall under a California Workers’ Compensation Law.

Does Medical Treatment Include Transportation Costs?

Yes.  Medical transportation is included as part of medical treatment In Mr. Hall’s instance, there was Med-Evac Treatment.  In other terms, Medical Transportation is necessary as part of medical treatment.   This is included with Labor Code Section 4600 under the provision to provide medical treatment which is reasonably required to cure or relieve from the effects of the injury.  Air Ambulance Services are included under this provision.

Are There Any Special Benefits That Would Be Available Under Workers’ Compensation Law?

Yes. There are two body parts that may make Mr. Hall eligible for additional periods of temporary disability given the facts.  The amputation would qualify him for the extended TTD benefits in accordance with Labor Code Section 4656.  Likewise, his eye injury may also qualify him for the benefit.  His injury to his eye was caused by a high velocity object or it was a result of a chemical burn. This determination will require a determination by a medical doctor as to the cause.  The specific language in the statute is “high-velocity eye injuries” or “chemical burns to the eyes.”

What Would Be the Venue for This Claim?

While the injury happened in Ukraine, this claim will be filed at a particular state.  Most likely, Mr. Hall’s claim could be filed at the location he works.  Thus, if he is based out of Texas, Texas law may apply.  Venue, at times, can involve a multitude of factors.  This can include where his contract was made or which States Mr. Hall worked in at Fox.  In otherwords, there may be a choice of venue given the facts of the case.

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.

SHOULD WORKERS’ COMPENSATION MEDICAL TREATMENT PROTOCOLS BE CHANGED?

California Workers’ Compensation Law has adopted the concept of Evidence Based Medicine as a means of allocating medical care to Injured Workers.  A British Medicine Journal article should perhaps serve as a “wake up” call for the Department of Industrial Relations as to whether this reliance on EBM should be re-visited.   The article entitled “The Illusion of Evidence Based Medicine.”

Evidence Based Medicine attempts to quantify the value of forms of medical treatment.   Evidence Based Medicine can conduct various studies to determine whether particular surgeries, medications, treatments, or therapies are helpful to patients.   Arguably, this is analogous to taking a survey on which ice cream flavor one likes.  If there is a large consensus on vanilla, then there is a likelihood that vanilla will be served to everyone wanting ice cream.  You, however, may prefer chocolate and derive much satisfaction from it.

Evidence Based Medicine depends upon reliable data from studies.   It is reported, however, that confidential pharmaceutical industry documents have given insight that misrepresentations are present in the findings.  This leads the author’s to conclude that evidence based medicine is an illusion.  In other terms, Evidence Based Medicine, without proper evidence, is bogus.

The Workers’ Compensation System is premised on medical probability.  Any false or inaccurate information, from any source, compromises the system. This includes opinions concerning medical treatment.  Thus, bogus scientific studies cannot be used to deny medical care.  Therefore, it would be wise if the Department of Industrial Relations reach out to those who administrate the medical authorization to address the serious concern raised by the article.

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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