Flood cleanup can cause sickness in workers and others who come into contact with contaminated floodwater and can cause injury in those who come into contact with electrical and fire hazards. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration warns about the hazards associated with flood cleanup work and provides some helpful tips. The OSHA Warning For Louisiana Flood Cleanup Workers suggests the following: Get a current tetanus shot; Consider all public water supply unsafe until local authorities announce otherwise; Not using contaminated water to wash dishes, brush your teeth, prepare & wash foods or make ice. Keep safe water for washing and potable water for drinking; Watch out for chemically contaminated flood water at industrial sites; Beware of chemical and electrical hazards from hazardous waste and chemical containers moved by floodwater from their original locations. Throw away any food or beverage if you question its safety; Seek immediate medical care for all animal bites. If you are hurt on the job while employed in cleanup work, contact your employer immediately and report the injury as are entitled to medical treatment at the employer’s expense. If you are unable to work and have a doctor’s excuse, you may be entitled to wages loss benefits like Louisiana Workers Compensation temporary total disability benefits.
Many residents and businesses affected by the recent Louisiana flooding in East Baton Rouge, Livingston, Saint Helena, Tangipahoa Acadia, Ascension, Avoyelles, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Point Coupee, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Vermilion, Washington and West Feliciana parishes may find they do not have enough flood insurance or no flood insurance to cover their losses. Accordingly, The Small Business Administration is preparing to provide assistance to Louisiana residents in East Baton Rouge, Livingston, Saint Helena and Tangipahoa parishes as a result of the storms and flooding beginning on August 11, 2016. The SBA wants to provide affected Louisiana residents and businesses with access to federal disaster loans. Interest rates depend on each applications financial condition, terms are up to 30 years and interest rates can be as low: 4 percent for businesses, 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.563 percent for homeowners and renters; Businesses and private non-profit organizations may borrow up to $2 million dollars to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment and inventory and other business assets. Additional funding is available for mitigation. Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real-estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, flood victims must first call FEMA at 800-621-3362. When disaster centers open, SBA agents will be available to help with loan applications. For help with your […]
In a recent decision, the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal reviewed a judgment in favor of an injured plaintiff who had brought claims against the driver of the vehicle that struck him, as well as her insurance companies. The defendants raised the issue of judicial estoppel, claiming that the plaintiff failed to disclose his personal injury claim in his bankruptcy proceedings and should therefore not be able to recover compensation from the defendants. In their analysis of whether the trial court erred in holding judicial estoppel did not apply, the appellate court focused on the equitable nature of the doctrine, and whether the injured plaintiff was in fact dishonest and attempting to reap a windfall by concealing his injury claim from the bankruptcy court and creditors. Willie Lee Thomas worked as a delivery driver for Farmers Seafood Company, and while making a delivery, he was struck by a car driven by defendant Wanda Jean Harris. Mr. Thomas was pinned between the rear of his own delivery truck and the vehicle driven by Ms. Harris, and he suffered serious injuries. Mr. Thomas underwent multiple surgeries, but at the time of the lawsuit, he was still unable to work.
Recently, the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal addressed whether an injured employee had willfully made a false statement for the purpose of obtaining benefits. In this opinion, the court reviewed Louisiana law preventing recovery to those workers’ compensation claimants who willfully make a false statement. However, statements made inadvertently or inconsequentially do not bar a claimant from recovery. At issue in this case was whether the employee had misrepresented her previous back and neck issues in order to obtain benefits for a work-related injury. Maria Ebarb worked at Boise Cascade Company, a timber processing facility in Florien, Louisiana, as a log yard utility hand. The physical nature of her job involved various duties, including cleaning the yard, lifting tools, and loading bark and chip trucks. On March 26, 2012, Ms. Ebarb was driving a front-end loader when she rode over a hidden piece of concrete. She suffered severe pain about an hour later when climbing down from the ladder.