Major penalties for New York workers’ comp fraud
- Juan Escobar was sentenced to six months in jail for defrauding the New York State Insurance Fund of nearly $3 million in insurance premium payments.
- Escobar, who previously pleaded guilty to Insurance Fraud in the Third Degree, will also have to pay $400,000 in restitution to New York State.
- His companies, Infinity Drywall Corp. Infinity Quality Services, JMC Drywall and JJM Builders, previously pleaded guilty to Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree and were sentenced to a three-year conditional discharge.
- Escobar defrauded NYSIF, which provides workers’ compensation and disability benefits for employers in New York State, by significantly underreporting his payroll during annual insurance premium audits.
Ohio passes workers’ comp bill
- The Ohio Senate passed Senate Bill 106 to close a loophole in workers’ compensation coverage for nurses and physicians exposed to bodily fluids on air ambulance flights.
- Under current workers’ compensation law, their pathogen testing expenses are not covered should they need testing for bloodborne pathogens.
- Senate Bill 106 expands the category of those eligible for workers’ compensation coverage for testing for bloodborne pathogens after exposure to include nurses and physicians.
- Paramedics, EMTs, and other first responders are already eligible to receive workers’ compensation for bloodborne pathogen testing, but not physicians and nurses, who are required to be present on a rotorcraft or fixed-wing air ambulance.
The battle continues over heat and workers’ comp
- There are no federal standards to protect workers like the Garcias when days become excessively hot.
- Without bipartisan support from Congress, even with urgent attention from the Biden administration, relief may not come for years.
- Lawmakers could look to California, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, the only states with rules mandating that all outdoor workers have access to water, rest, and shade.
- After California instituted its standard in 2005, fewer injuries were reported in workers’ compensation claims when temperatures exceeded 85 degrees.
Railroad worker killed
- A railroad worker in Ohio is dead after he was pinned between two railcars, according to a spokesperson with the National Transportation Safety Board.
- The Ohio State Highway Patrol said that 56-year-old Fredrick Anderson was struck by a CSX train that was traveling south on an active rail track near Latcha Road and Cummings Road in Lake Township.
- Anderson was pronounced dead at the scene.
- NTSB is sending two investigators to the scene.