“In a negligence action to which this section applies, any party found to be greater than 50 percent at fault for his or her own harm may not recover any damages. This subsection does not apply to an action for damages for personal injury or wrongful death arising out of medical negligence pursuant to chapter 766.”
Thursday, March 30, 2023
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Insults and Indignity
It is not common for the nuance of workers' compensation to make the national headlines. And, arguably, Best Life is perhaps not the national news. Recently, the MSN news feed picked up a Best Life article concerning a man in British Columbia and comments a physician made that were documented "in his official workman's compensation file." That is not a typographical error. The publication used this antiquated and genderist term. I was unable to find references to "workmans" on the British Columbia website. Let's all get with the modern world and use "workers'?"
The headline caught my eye as it referenced medical records. However, it is likely that references there to "uneducated massive redneck" and "playing the system" caught my attention. The author refers to these as not "mildly negative." The origin of this worker's challenges is somewhat typical. There was an injury at work, a claim filed for compensation, various medical care, and ongoing physical complaints and symptoms.
The injured worker reviewed his "workman's comp file" (sic) and noted various allegations and observations. There were comments specific to medical evaluation, but also generalities regarding where the worker lived and his "lowlife style," as well as conjecture and dispersions (that may have been "low life," but it is less than clear). The worker was troubled by the comments generally, but also noted that "the doctor was really nice, to my face anyway." The worker contacted a caseworker at WorkSafeBC and complained. Notably, the British Columbia workers' compensation process is monopolistic (the government is effectively also the insurance company).
The caseworker documented the workers' reactions and concerns with a complaint. The company through which the physician's care was delivered (it is not clear if the physician is an employee of that entity or a contractor affiliated with it) has expressed disappointment. Its spokesperson noted that the company has a "duty to be respectful and compassionate to the individuals we serve." Well, we could say that about any or all of us. This is a reminder that everyone in the workers' compensation community is a person, not a number. And that professionalism is virtuous and desirable.
The worker's spouse focused on the references to where they live. She concluded, "I absolutely think this was a general discrimination against people who come from small towns." There are feelings expressed, of "upset," and descriptions of crying. The spouse concluded that while the workers' mental health was impacted by "not being able to work," the medical record statements were further detrimental. She characterized the experience as not "helping." The worker noted that despite the publicity and complaint, he has not heard from the physician. He notes that "a major apology would be nice." Is that not always the case when we are hurt by someone?
Sunday, March 26, 2023
Woodpeckers and Concussions
- A bodily reaction to overexertion (such as when lifting objects or performing repetitive motions), which caused 31.0% of workplace injuries
- Falls, slips, and trips, which caused 27.5% of workplace injuries
- Contact with objects or equipment, which caused 25.8% of workplace injuries
- Transportation incidents, which caused 5.6% of workplace injuries
- Violence and other injuries caused by a person or an animal, which caused 5.0% of workplace injuries
- Being exposed to harmful environments or substances, which caused 4.2% of workplace injuries
Thursday, March 23, 2023
Call it Progress
- to establish a centralized, cloud-based case management system for all public court records that is accessible to the general public at no cost.
- That system would consolidate the dozens of case management systems currently in use throughout the federal judiciary
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Cost, Economics, and Transparency
Sunday, March 19, 2023
Who do You Trust?
"Please tell me how you would rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in these different fields -- very high, high, average, low or very low?"
Thursday, March 16, 2023
Women's History Month
- 1777 – All states pass laws which (sic) take away women's right to vote.
- 1839 – The first state (Mississippi) grants women the right to hold property in their own names – with permission from their husbands.
- 1866 – The 14th Amendment is passed by Congress, with "citizens" and "voters" defined as "male" in the Constitution.
- 1869 – Arabella Mansfield is granted admission to practice law in Iowa, making her the first woman lawyer. Ada H. Kepley becomes the first woman in the United States to graduate from law school.
- Susan B. Anthony casts her first vote to test whether the 14th Amendment would be interpreted broadly to guarantee women the right to vote. She is convicted of "unlawful voting."
- 1873 – The Supreme Court rules that a state has the right to exclude a married woman from practicing law.
- 1890 – The first state (Wyoming) grants women the right to vote in all elections.
- 1900 – By this year, every state had passed legislation granting married women the right to keep their own wages and to own property in their own name.
- 1920 – The Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, ensuring the right of women to vote.
- 1923 – The first version of an Equal Rights Amendment is introduced. It says, "Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction."
- 1933 – Frances Perkins becomes the first female cabinet member, appointed secretary of labor by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- 1963 – The Equal Pay Act is passed by Congress, promising equitable wages for the same work, regardless of the race, color, religion, national origin or sex of the worker.
- 1964 – Title VII of the Civil Rights Act passes, prohibiting sex discrimination in employment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is created.
- 1972 – Title IX of the Education Amendments prohibits sex discrimination in all aspects of education programs that receive federal support.
- 1973 – Landmark Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade makes abortion legal. The Supreme Court in a separate ruling bans sex-segregated "help wanted" advertising.
- 1975 – The Supreme Court denies states the right to exclude women from juries.
- 1978 – The Pregnancy Discrimination Act bans employment discrimination against pregnant women.
- 1981 - In a break with tradition, Lady Diana Spencer deletes the vow to "obey" her husband as she marries Prince Charles.
- 1982 – The ERA falls short of ratification.
- 1984 - U.S. Supreme Court bans sex discrimination in membership for onetime all-male groups like the Jaycees, Kiwanis and Rotary clubs.
- 1986 – The U.S. Supreme Court held that a work environment can be declared hostile or abusive because of discrimination based on sex, an important tool in sexual harassment cases.
- 2022 – The Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that established a right to an abortion nearly 50 years earlier.