“Oh, come on, now, WRAL. No one’s really going to believe the claimant in the bogus workers’ comp case with the game show angle is named ‘Wrench Cashwell’. You’re going to have to come up with something better than that.” [Fayetteville, N.C.]
Worker’s comp is intended to provide relatively liberal coverage in some ways — that goes with the territory of a “no-fault” compensation scheme — but a few of these outcomes might still raise an eyebrow, particularly when it comes to generous definitions of what’s “work-related.” [Cracked] More: Coyote (“Our problem tends to be that we get a whole heck of a lot of “injuries” in the 3-4 hours between when we fire someone and when they leave the property.”)
Illinois: “If you are a state employee and your feet hurt, you could be in line to receive medical care, including surgery, paid time off plus a tax-free disability settlement that might exceed your annual salary — all paid for by taxpayers. You also would keep your job.” Arbitration awards for trauma inflicted by “repetitive walking” and other seemingly common workplace stresses have caused enough concern that state attorney general Lisa Madigan has called for tightening up causation standards. [Belleville News-Democrat]
The Associated Press and Belleville News-Democrat investigate some curious clusters of workers’-comp claims among downstate correctional officers and other public employees.
“Former Illinois State trooper Matt Mitchell is asking the state to compensate him for injuries from a crash in which he hit and killed two Collinsville sisters at triple-digit speeds.” Mitchell pleaded guilty to reckless homicide after the incident, in which, headed for an accident scene, he “was driving 126 mph in busy day-after-Thanksgiving traffic on Interstate 64 near O’Fallon while sending and receiving e-mails and talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone.” “People get hurt at work all the time,” said Mitchell’s lawyer, Kerri O’Sullivan of St. Louis’ Brown and Crouppen. “It’s our job as lawyers to help people with the difficult and complicated administrative process of worker’s compensation.” [Belleville News-Democrat]
The state’s onetime crisis abated after Gov. Schwarzenegger presided over serious reforms in 2004, but now rates are on the rise again following court decisions that have let lawyers bypass medical-eligibility guidelines. [Orange County Register]