If you missed WCI 2017, Catch This Riveting Program Featuring Industry Leaders from Walmart, Sedgwick, Safety National & UnitedHealth Group
OSHA activity is underway as it resumes enforcement in TX and LA...
A widow has to prove her relationship status before a court in order to obtain her husband's benefits...
WA is next up in the 'Comp and Cannabis' series...
IL is next up in the 'Undocumented, and Unprotected?' series...
A few red flags to watch out for in comp fraud...
Kanter Joins JMB Insurance in Chicago
It is that time of year! We are excited to share that registration is open for the 72nd Annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference! Our team has been working tirelessly to ensure that this year’s conference is...
Narcotics are back in the news. I have not been effective at hiding my feelings about opioids. I have applauded Opioid Guidelines from the CDC. I have lamented the sheer volume of Americans that are dying of drug overdose. In Like a Broken Record, I recently updated the fatality rates,and frankly the numbers are staggering. It appears that despite a variety of efforts, national and local, the situation is not improving. Death by overdose.
I have noted Ohio's challenges with opioids, and the prescription drug monitoring program efforts. Ohio was noted in prior posts as having the fifth highest drug overdose death rate in the nation. Perhaps that is not so unexpected, it is the seventh most populous state. But Ohio has nonetheless made the news regarding overdose. In 2017, NBC News reported that one Ohio coroner lacked storage capacity for the bodies, and had resorted to a special trailer.
NBC recently reported that in Florida there is a Death Race in which first responders rush from one overdose to the next. This report noted that in one small Florida town first responders recently attended to three overdose calls in two hours, all before the sun set one Friday evening. A firefighter was quoted concluding "The overdoses are everywhere." It is not a problem in specific populations or neighborhoods, it is now ubiquitous. Now, first "responders find people who have overdosed in restaurant bathrooms and on park benches, in private homes and while driving through busy intersections."
For 175 years my ancestors have resided in a small corner of Lafayette (luh fay et) County, Mississippi. It is a part of the world enamored with Pine Trees, Oxford, and the University of Mississippi. It is known for its ties to John Grisham, William Faulkner, and Archie Manning. But it is not known for its otherwise famous comma. In fact, in all the time I have spent in Oxford, I have yet to even see the Oxford Comma (the location is said to be a closely guarded secret). Local residents will provide you a quite peculiar look sometimes if you inquire of the whereabouts of the Oxford Comma.
Yet there it is, likely just around the corner from where James Meredith drew support and criticism, eventually attended law school, and made history. Oxford has a long and storied history. It is proud of its dam, its food, and its football. The Sardis dam is said to be the second longest land dam in the world. Oxford is a place of history, solitude, and serenity. The town center is said to rest on land originally donated by John Chisholm, John D. Martin, and John L.Craig. More recently, Ole Miss garnered attention in the 21st century with its debate to replace its Colonel Reb mascot. Contenders included Admiral Ackbar, Rebel Bruiser, and the eventually victorious Black Bear.
Oxford Comma inquiries outside the confines of Mississippi will produce self-assured responses that the Oxford Comma has nothing to do with The Grove, The Square, or the self-effacing and rarely uttered "Hotty Toddy." Outside of Mississippi, there is an insistence that the "Oxford" of the Oxford Comma references instead some humble, obscure, and distant institution of higher learning far away in Europe somewhere (which, rumor has it, does not even play in the SEC). But, I digress. The real point is not where the Oxford Comma is, what it looks like (throughout this post it is red and bold), or where it came from. The real point is that in the world of legalese, phrase-parsing, and interpreting words, the famed Oxford Comma has gotten some recent attention.
Litigation volumes are a frequent topic of conversation in Florida workers' compensation. It feels like it has been discussed more in the last 12 months. Since the Florida's Supreme Courts interesting decisions last year in Castellanos and Westphal, along with the First District Court's decision in Miles, there is an expectation that litigation volumes will rise in Florida.
The evidence indicates that petition volumes increased in fiscal 2016 (July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016). That increase was significant, just over twelve percent. There are those who expected that the trend of increasing would continue. By mid-year 2017 (July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016), petition filing for 2017 may be up as much as 6.5%. It is impossible to predict with certainty, but it does not appear that petition filings will again increase by double digits in 2017.