Latest news on personal injury and workers’ compensation.

Comp medical payments decline, indemnity benefits grow

Workers compensation medical payments per claim in numerous states decreased through 2020 and 2021, while indemnity benefits grew during that same time, reflecting economic changes during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to comp industry research released Tuesday. A package of studies released Tuesday by the Workers Compensation Research Institute compared medical payments, indemnity benefits and benefit…

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Research links high occupational injury rates to opioid overdose risk

Jobs with the highest rates of opioid overdose fatalities generally have high occupational injury rates and low access to paid sick leave, according to a research paper on the economic impacts of opioids released Monday by the Brookings Institution. Industries with the highest rates of overdose fatalities in the workplace have elevated occupational injury rates for fractures and musculoskeletal disorders,…

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Regulators, lawmakers push workplace heat standards

As summer approaches, workplace safety agencies and state lawmakers are seeking to formulate standards to protect workers from heat-related dangers on the job. Rising global temperatures, longer and more frequent heatwaves and increased heat-related workers compensation claims are driving advocates to push for more detailed and uniform standards addressing heat illness and injury in the workplace. The issue is playing…

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Patient alleges necrotizing fasciitis was misdiagnosed

A man is suing the Salem Township Hospital, claiming that doctors misdiagnosed his life-threatening condition and allowed it to worsen. Plaintiffs Michael and Jean Garden filed the lawsuit in the St. Clair County Circuit Court against Nancy Zutshi, M.D., Tracy Caswell, and Salem Township Hospital, citing negligence. According to the lawsuit, on May 14, 2022, Michael Garden, 65, went to…

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Man alleges brain injury when medical scooter fell on him during transport

A passenger is suing Alternative Transportation Systems, claiming he was seriously injured when his medical scooter flipped and fell on him while traveling to a dialysis appointment. Plaintiff Julius Walker filed the lawsuit in the St. Clair County Circuit Court against Alternative Transportation Systems, Inc and an ATS employee, citing negligence. According to the lawsuit, on Feb. 3, 2023, Walker…

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Refinery worker sues over decades of alleged exposure to toxic fumes

A former refinery worker and smoker claims he was not warned about exposure to toxic chemicals on the job or toxic substances in light cigarettes, causing him to develop cancer. Plaintiffs Donald and Betty Bannister filed the lawsuit in the Madison County Circuit Court against John Crane Inc., Shell USA, Inc., Phillips 66 Company, 3M Company, Tyco Fire Products, Chemguard,…

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Walmart customer allegedly hit by shopping carts at Wood River store

A shopper is suing Walmart after she was allegedly struck by shopping carts while at the Wood River store. Plaintiff Gloria Bell filed the lawsuit in the Madison County Circuit Court against Wal-Mart Inc., and store manager Glenn Masterson and employee Antonio Shaw, citing negligence. According to the lawsuit, Bell Hultz was a patron at a Walmart store in Wood…

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Union Pacific Railroad employee alleges work related injuries

A Union Pacific Railroad employee has filed a negligence claim after allegedly suffering injuries on the job. Plaintiff William C. Williford filed the lawsuit in the Madison County Circuit Court against defendant Union Pacific Railroad Company, citing negligence. According to the lawsuit, Williford was employed by Union Pacific Railroad Company as a machine operator. The plaintiff states that as an…

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Man claims e-cigarette batteries exploded in his pocket, caused severe burns

A man is suing Better Vapes after the batteries for his e-cigarette device allegedly exploded in his pocket, severely burning him. Plaintiff Justin Rains filed the lawsuit in the St. Clair County Circuit Court against Better Vapes, LLC and Steve Schieferle, citing negligence and product liability. According to the lawsuit, in May 2022, Rains purchased a charger for his electronic…

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Appeals court allows injured pro softball player’s negligence claim to proceed

An Illinois appeals court has partially reversed a lower court ruling in a case involving an injured professional softball player, ruling the trial judge improperly dismissed a negligence claim over the employer’s alleged failure to maintain workers compensation insurance coverage. The First District, Fifth Division Appellate Court of Illinois Friday partially affirmed, and partially reversed, a Cook County circuit court…

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