MTA CLEANER SUSTAINS INJURIES IN AN UNPROVOKED ATTACK: INJURED WORKER IN THE NEWS # 48

It is reported that a New York City MTA Worker was slugged in the face.  She worked as a cleaner. It is also reported that she worked for a company contracted with the MTA.    Nypost.com

This article will discuss “unprovoked attacks.”

Are There Any Special Benefits For Individuals Who Sustain Work-Related “Unprovoked Attacks”?

Possibly.  In California, a number of companies and government agencies provide benefits beyond workers’ compensation for unprovoked attacks.  In other words, some employers, when there is an unprovoked attack, will pay the injured worker funds that exceed traditional workers’ compensation benefits.

The companies who have this benefit are likely to do so are government agencies.  Unprovoked Attack Benefits are usually are delineated in a Union Contract or the Memorandum of Understanding.

If an Injured Worker sustains an injury caused by an unprovoked attack, they may want to make an inquiry as to whether they are eligible.  The Human Resources Department should be able to provide the worker the answer to their eligibility.  Again, these benefits are not too common.  They usually involve occupations that have extensive contact with the public or individuals who are incarcerated. 

An example of these benefits come from the Los Angeles version of the MTA.   Some employees are provided the benefit per the contract as follows: “SECTION 2. PAYMENT FOR TIME LOST (a) It is further agreed that if the Operator is physically injured as a result of such robbery, or as a result of an unprovoked attack by another person, such injury resulting in a loss of time, he/she shall be paid 100% of the time lost during the first seven (7) days of disability and 80% of the time lost thereafter. If Workers’ Compensation Benefits are provided during this period, the basis of payment will be as shown above less the Workers’ Compensation Benefits. Operators sustaining injury shall be paid for all time lost as the result of an unprovoked attack when medical verification is provided. Payment will be limited to a maximum of one (1) year after the date of any one incident. (b) An Operator required to wear prescription glasses as a condition to his/her license to drive, whose prescription glasses are lost or damaged as a result of robbery or unprovoked attack, will be compensated up to a maximum of four (4) days’ pay for time lost until the glasses are repaired or replaced. (c) In the event an Operator loses time due to the loss of his/her regulation watch in a robbery or unprovoked attack, he/she will be compensated for the remainder of his/her assignment that day.”

Given the Present Fact Pattern, What Should This Worker Do?

With the reported facts, the Applicant worked for a company that was contracted with the MTA. Thus, it is more likely that her employer may not provide her for such a benefit. Again, she should check with her Human Resources Department to ascertain whether she is entitled to this additional benefit.

Are There Disputes Concerning Unprovoked Attacks? What Happens?

Yes. Over my years of representation, Employers can dispute an unprovoked attack claim.  If this happens, there is likely a dispute resolution process that occurs.  This would be addressed via the Union Contract or Memorandum of Understanding.  Whether there was an unprovoked attack is not something that the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board would adjudicate.

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.

 

THE “LUCKIEST” WOUNDED EMPLOYEE? INJURED WORKER IN THE NEWS, #42

Television Golf Reporter, Sage Steele, sustained an industrial injury when a line drive golf ball struck her in the face at a Professional Tournament.  She sustained facial injuries which included dental.  She reported that she “the luckiest person in the world to still be here.”  Foxnews.com She reported “it is amazing how quickly life can change, right?” She reported that Steele said she has “a long way to go” in her recovery but extended thanks to all those who wished her well and her dentist for his extensive care. Foxnews.com

This fact pattern addresses many issues in workers’ compensation.  There are venue issues and treatment issues. This story offers a touch on the reality of the impact of serious work injuries upon an employee.

Where Should This Claim Be Filed? 

Jurisdiction and Venue are legal terms which address the location legal action may be filed. In Workers’ Compensation Law, there are several factors which may impact both the state and the location of where an action is filed.   Factors that are consider include the location of the employment, the residence of the employee, and the location of the injury.  In this instance, Ms. Steele may work out of a particular state, i.e. California. As such, California a proper venue.

Are Dental Injuries Covered Under Workers’ Compensation? 

Yes. In California, dental injuries are covered.   Thus, dental treatment to cure or relieve from the effects of the injury are to be provides in accordance with Labor Code Section 4600.  Dental treatment is subject to Utilization Review.  Depending upon the nature of the dental condition, a lifetime award can be provided if medically indicated.   For those not having dental insurance, the award of future care can be invaluable.

What Is the Lesson From This Work Injury?

Work injuries can be life changing events.  Significant life changes can include permanent medical conditions that can cause pain or impairment.  Likewise, serious injuries can end one’s ability to perform their vocation.  Ms. Steele’s view of being lucky represents the reality for many workers.

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.

Southwest Airlines Attendant Sustains Dental Trauma As A Result of Unruly Passenger: Injured Worker In the News, #39

It is reported that an Unruly Passenger was sentenced concerning to jail time as a result of  an attack of a Soutwest Airline Flight Attendant. The Attendant reportedly received a blow to her face and had some teeth broken. The plea agreement noted that the Flight Attendant suffered three chipped teeth, two of which needed crowns, along with bruises and a cut under her left eye. Dailymail.com  

From the facts, the Attendant could sue the Passenger civilly for the tort action of battery.  Additionally, the Southwest Airlines’ Worker has a workers’ compensation claim.  This article will discuss where the Injured Worker  can pursue a workers’ compensation claim as well as the benefits that would be received.

Where Can The Flight Attendant File Their Claim? 

Yes. The Flight Attendant has multiple locations at which they may file their claim.  For a Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board filing, the venue can be determined by the Worker’s address, the Employer’s address or the location of the injury.  Applicant’s attorney’s address can also serve as venue. Since, this accident occurred midair, the location where injury happened is tricky. As such, the Employee’s residence is likely a better choice of venue.  As the flight was from San Diego to Sacramento, it is likely that the San Diego WCAB would likely be the venue for the Employee’s address.  Likewise, if Southwest Airlines had a terminal at the San Diego Airport,  the San Diego Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board would most likely be an appropriate venue as well.

What Work-Related Injuries Can the Flight Attendant Claim?

For the purposes of this answer, we will limit the body parts as reported on the plea agreement.  Thus, the Attendant sustained dental injuries as well as a facial/cosmetic injury.

The Injured Worker would have been entitled to dental care to cure or relieve from the effects of the injury as well as permanent disability, if indicated.  Likewise, future medical care would be likely should the dental work need repair.

The cut under the left eye may also require cosmetic repair.  Thus, medical treatment  Also, the cut may have caused permanent cosmetic injury.  This may entitle an award of permanent disability depending upon the nature and extent of the defect.

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 #38: Was A United Airlines Worker Brawl With A Passenger A Work-related Injury?

A viral video shows a United Airlines Luggage Check-In Worker engaged in a fist fight with a customer.  The video shows the UA Worker punching the customer.  The video then shows the customer beating up the worker.  Dailymail.com

For the purpose of this post, we will take the video as the totality of the interaction. Thus, we will analyze whether the UA Worker can claim a work injury for the blows that he sustained. Again, the facts, for this hypothetical, are that the UA Worker came up to the customer and struck the customer.  The customer, in turn, then struck the UA Worker.

It is reported that prior to the blows that there was some interaction between the UA Worker and the customer concerning the customer using a wheelchair to transport luggage as opposed to paying for a luggage cart.

Can the UA Worker Claim An Injury With Respect to the Exchange of Blows?

Labor Code Section 3600(a)(7) prohibits recovery under workers’ compensation law in California “[w]here the injury does not arise out of an altercation in which the injured employee is the initial physical aggressor.” This is often referred to as the “Initial Aggressor Rule.” Thus, the fist fight injuries would not be covered as a valid claim. The reason being is that the UA Worker threw the first blow and therefore was the initial aggressor.

Could the UA Worker File a Different Claim?

From the facts of the case, the UA Worker apparently became agitated to the point that he decided to attack the customer. There is the possibility that a psyche claim could be filed.  From the video, it would appear that the UA Worker was unhinged.  A determination on this matter would be deferred to a mental health practitioner.

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.

9.3Edward Jay Singer
Edward Jay SingerReviewsout of 22 reviews