On the Slopes
Should a teacher who became injured while on a ski trip be entitled to workers compensation? After an appeal – yes, she is! The teacher volunteered to chaperone on a high school ski trip. She fell and hurt her shoulder which required two surgeries and physical therapy.
She filed a claim for benefits and two administrative judges turned down her claim. The math teacher appealed to the state board which oversees workers compensation and the decision was reversed but the city appealed the decision.
The Supreme Judicial Court upheld the board ruling, saying that "a teacher who acts as a chaperone to students participating in a school-sponsored activity is acting in the course of her employment." She was expected to chaperone.
Moral of the story: Don't mess with the math teacher and hooray for Boston legal.
Should an Illegal Immigrant Receive Workers' Comp?
The Nebraska Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling that an illegal immigrant injured at Cargill slaughterhouse is eligible for workers' compensation benefits.
The judge found that in May 2006, Visoso was employed by Cargill as a laborer, and that while engaged in the duties of his employment, he suffered injuries to his cervical spine as a result of an accident arising in the course of his employment. The judge found that a front quarter of beef fell from a conveyor and struck Visoso on the rear of his head, neck, and shoulders. The judge found that Visoso's injury was initially diagnosed as a cervical strain but later as cervical spondylosis. The judge held that Visoso is entitled to benefits as provided under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act.
The judge determined that at the time of the accident and injury, Visoso was receiving an average weekly wage of $514.56 and thus was entitled to benefits of $343.04 per week from October 4, 2007, through the date of trial and for so long in the future as the illegal immigrant employee shall remain temporarily totally disabled and further order of the Court.
New Jersey Hospital Whistleblower
Two New Jersey hospitals have agreed to pay the United States to resolve allegations that the hospitals defrauded Medicare. The two hospitals are Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center (OLL) in Camden, N.J., and Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County (LMC) in Willingboro, N.J.
The whistleblower alleged that the hospital fraudulently inflated its charges to Medicare patients to obtain enhanced reimbursement from Medicare. In addition to its standard payment system, Medicare provides supplemental reimbursement to hospitals and other healthcare providers in cases where the cost of care is unusually high. The lawsuit alleged that the hospital inflated its charges to obtain supplemental payments for cases that were not extraordinarily costly and for which supplemental payments should not have been paid.
The courageous whistleblower brought his suit under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, which permit private citizens with knowledge of fraud against the government to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the United States and to share in any recovery. Under the civil settlement he will receive $356,000, plus interest, out of the Our Lady of Lourdes Health Care Services settlement of $7.95 million.