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Some Instances Where Louisiana Injured Workers May Be Able To Recover Money For Pain And Suffering, Lost Wages And Similar Damages Upon Proving Fault

Many Louisiana work injuries are covered by workers compensation insurance under the Louisiana Workers Compensation Act. In these cases, regardless of fault, the employer is responsible for limited payment of weekly benefits during the time the employee is medically unable to return to her position. The employer is also responsible for payment of related medical bills, mileage and, if necessary, certain vocational rehabilitation benefits. Just about every week, I speak with injured workers who are surprised when they discover how limited their benefits are under the Louisiana Workers Compensation system. Even a physician making $350,000 a year, who is not capable of returning to her former employment due to a work related injury sustained on this date in 2010, will receive a maximum payment of $577 per week under the Louisiana Workers Compensation Act. Some injured employees who earn less, may recive as little as $154 per week. However, there are some instances where the Louisiana Workers Compensation Act does not apply and the injured employee may be able to recover in tort under his employer’s Employers Liability Insurance policy or other policy. In these cases, the employee must prove employer fault and damages to recover pain and suffering, lost wages and similar damages. Employers Liability Insurance, other liability insurance and/or the employer may be responsible for tort liability and damages in the following situations: An injured worker is excluded from workers’ compensation coverage as an independent contractor. See, LA-R.S. 23:1021(7) and LA-R.S. 23:1061. An employee of less than twelve […]

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Expired National Flood Insurance Program Is Reauthorized Creating a Possible Two Day Lapse In Coverage; Congress Fails To Overhaul NFIP System

Today, Congress reauthorized the National Flood Insurance Program that expired last Sunday night when Congress failed to pass a temporary extension of the program. The reauthorization is not retroactive. The expiration did not affect existing coverage. However, for the two days period the NFIP did not issue new policies or renew policies, some may have sustained a lapse in coverage. Some home sales were even delayed because some lenders require flood insurance as a term of the mortgage. The National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 provided insurance against inundation from rising waters or from the overflow of streams, rivers, or other bodies of water, or from tidal surges, abnormally high tidal water, tidal waves, tsunamis, hurricanes, or other severe storms or deluge. The reauthorization extended the NFIP through March 28, 2010. Congress has extended the existing program several times while working on various proposals to reform the entire system. There are several pending overhaul bills in both the House and Senate. Some of the reform bills seek to expand the flood program to include wind coverage. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has even promoted the idea of offering coverage for all catastrophic perils. In the meantime, the NFIP only applies to flood. The NFIP has just released its May, 2010 Revision to the Flood Manual as well as Wind vs. Water Adjusting Practices. Additional Resources: NFIP Reauthorzation Through March 28, 2010 Expired NFIP Program Delays Louisiana Real Estate Transactions NAIC’s Proposal For Creating A Comprehensive National Plan To Address […]

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Employee Is Caught Between Drill Pipe, Is Crushed And Killed

Trinidad Drilling Usa, Rig 101, Keithville, LA Incident: Employee #1 had just completed tripping out the drill pipe and had started tripping back into the hole. Employee #1 tripped in five sections of pipe when he got between the drill pipe in the rotary table and the iron roughneck. Employee #1 was crushed and killed. Source: OSHA- Baton Rouge

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Federal Court Decides Hurricane Katrina Insurance Lawsuit Filed More Than Two Years After Hurricane Anniversary Prescribed

In Dixey, II v. Allstate Insurance Company, –F.Supp.2nd, 2010 WL 126628 (E.D.La.), plaintiff filed his Hurricane Katrina insurance lawsuit after the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and attempted to use the Louisiana class action statutes to demonstrate that his claim had not prescribed. The Court determined the claim had prescribed finding the “liberative prescription” set forth in LA-CCP art 596 is not applicable to the “contractual prescription” set forth in the policy. Allstate maintained that contractual limitation period set forth in its policy cannot be interrupted or suspended. This decision is wrong. The Court failed to recognize that the twelve month provision in the contract is also a liberative prescriptive period. It is not in the language of the insurance company; rather, it is the language of the Legislature and expressed in words which the fire statute (LA-RS 22:691(F)) requires be inserted in the policy, word for word, line for line, number for number. See, Gremillion v. Travelers Indemnity Co., 240 So.2d 727, 256 La. 974 (1970). Further, the court must strictly construe the statute against prescription and in favor of the claim that is said to be extinguished and CC 3457 provides there is no prescription other than that established by legislation. Additionally, in 2006 oral argument before the Louisiana Supreme Court, Allstate, State Farm and USAA, the three remaining defendants in a Hurricane Katrina lawsuit, even acknowledged the applicable limitation period is a liberative prescriptive period and capable of being suspended under the doctrine of contra non valentem. […]

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