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Louisiana Appellate Court Affirms Judgment in Favor of Out-of-State Employer When Injured Employee Completed Pre-Employment Requirements Outside Louisiana and Job Located Outside the State

Recently, the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal addressed the issue of jurisdiction, or the power of a court to hear a lawsuit. In Louisiana, the Office of Workers’ Compensation has jurisdiction over workers’ compensation proceedings.  The law provides for extraterritorial coverage, or coverage outside the state, provided that the employee meets certain requirements.  In this case, the appellate court reviewed whether the trial court properly found that the Louisiana resident in this case had not met those requirements. Lemcy Cortez was a Louisiana resident hired by a Texas corporation to drive trucks in Oklahoma.  While working, Mr. Cortez suffered injuries in an automobile accident. He filed a Disputed Claim for Compensation with the Louisiana Office of Workers’ Compensation against his employer and their insurance company for workers’ compensation.  Mr. Cortez claimed that his employer refused to pay his workers’ compensation benefits, even though he was injured in the course and scope of his employment.

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OSHA Warning For Louisiana Flood Cleanup Workers

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.

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Louisiana Appellate Court Affirms Judgment in Favor of Employee Who Inadvertently or Inconsequentially Misrepresented Previous Back and Neck Issues

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.

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Louisiana Court Holds Surviving Spouse Not Entitled to Benefits Because Fatally Injured Worker Not in Course and Scope of Employment at Time of Injury

Recently, the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal analyzed a case involving the issue of whether an injured employee was in fact working in the course and scope of employment when he suffered a fatal electrocution.  The appellate court examined the evidence presented before the workers’ compensation judge and held that the circumstantial nature of the evidence did not support a finding that the employee’s surviving spouse was entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In the morning of July 8, 2010, Jimmie Granger was welding on lands owned by B&B Farms of Mamou, Inc.  Mr. Granger suffered a fatal electrocution while welding on a metal pole, discovered near his body.  Mr. Granger and Mitch Broussard operated a company, M&J Crawfish, which engaged in crawfish farming on certain lands, including the acreage that was owned by B&B Farms of Mamou, Inc. in this lawsuit.

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