Workers’ Compensation Case Update – Fall 2009
In one case, the Court concluded that petitioner's paralysis from a gunshot was caused by a neutral risk as a stray bullet had no personal or employment characteristics. The neutral risk arose out of the petitioner's employment because the petitioner’s exposure to that risk was greater than that of the general public.
Murv Pretorius and Matt Smith (Second Chair) Trial Victory
Defendant doctor was a gastroenterologist who performed tests on the deceased on two separate dates for evaluation of anemia. The deceased's anemia continued, but the patient did not return to the gastroenterologist. The deceased subsequently died from colon cancer. The defense contended that the gastroenterologist performed a proper colonoscopy and that the colonscopy has a known false negative rate of 6 plus percent.
When Is an Insured’s Statement Privileged?
Insurers routinely take statements from their insured's during the course of investigating and defending claims. Those statements are often protected by the attorney-client privilege, even if no attorney is involved in taking the statement. However, not all statements are privileged, and the privileges can be waived.
Summary Judgment in Slip and Fall Case
Judge Joe Vespa agreed with Defendants that Plaintiff had failed to offer any evidence to support the allegation that the ice that Plaintiff slipped and fell on was caused by water coming from a black flexible hose on a defendant's property, and that to infer such would be speculation. Accordingly, the court granted summary judgment in favor of each Defendant.
Good Samaritan Receives Benefits for Assisting with Personal Comfort
Circuit City Stores, Inc. v. Illinois Workers' Compensation Com'n involved both the Good Samaritan Doctrine and the Personal Comfort Doctrine. The appellate court held that an employee who hurt himself while attempting to get food out of a vending machine for a coworker remained in the course of his employment under the Good Samaritan Doctrine.
Red Flags Rule – Another Delay Gives Practices More Time to Comply
A medical practice red flag program must identify the practice's process to train staff, assign a dedicated staff member to investigate possible red flags, institute measures to detect red flags, and have policies and patient education about identity theft. It is important to remember that appropriate red flag detection measures vary from practice to practice.