Arkansas Upholds Workers Comp Law

Judges rule on longshoremen’s provision

  • The Arkansas Court of Appeals held that a section of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act bars the transfer of structured settlement annuity payment rights.
  • The decision serves as a rebuke to companies seeking to acquire structured settlement annuity payments in exchange for steeply discounted lump-sum payments.
  • The LHWCA is a federal workers’ compensation act that mandates coverage to certain maritime workers, including most dock workers and maritime workers not otherwise covered by the Jones Act.
  • The LHWCA also applies to, among others, U.S. government contractors working in foreign countries under the Defense Base Act.
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Court sends workers comp case back for review

  • The West Virginia Intermediate Court of Appeals overturned a ruling by the Workers’ Compensation Board of Review in a case where a nurse claimed she got COVID while working at a jail.
  • The board awarded Brittany Foster temporary total disability benefits in a ruling it made last August.
  • Foster claimed she got COVID while she was working for PrimeCare Medical of West Virginia, which was a contractor at the jail testing for covid in July 2020.
  • PrimeCare appealed the board’s ruling to the ICA and it was eventually sent back to a Board of Review for an analysis.
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Tree service cannot operate until obtaining workers’ comp

  • A Delaware tree service company was ordered to cease operations until it obtains workers’ compensation insurance.
  • The state Department of Labor cited Drew’s Tree Service, Magnolia, for failing to carry the insurance covering worker injuries.
  • Delaware Chancery Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick ruled that the state agency was justified in requiring insurance.
  • The owner of the firm did not obtain legal counsel after indicting he would contest the order, and Under Delaware law, a limited liability company must be represented by counsel at legal proceedings.
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Police officer pays back money for fraud

  • A 39-year-old Santa Ana, California, police officer convicted of committing workers’ compensation insurance fraud has repaid the city all of the stolen wages totaling $95,870.
  • Officer Jonathan Ridge was injured on duty while in pursuit of a suspect driving a stolen vehicle and went out on disability leave due to his injuries.
  • While still on leave, Ridge had surgery on his left wrist, and his doctor continued to keep him off work while he was recovering from the surgery.
  • Surveillance found Ridge was engaging in activities well beyond what his doctor had imposed, including attending full-time college classes, taking a road trip to Utah, and driving his motorcycle.
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