The Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal addressed a workers’ compensation case involving the credibility of a witness and allegations that he had been wrongly terminated. After reviewing the evidence, the appellate court upheld the lower court’s findings that the injured employee had misrepresented his case, and he had failed to abide by his physicians’ instructions. William White was injured in a workplace accident while working as a pipefitter for The Shaw Group on June 20, 2005. On July 28, 2008, he filed a disputed claim for compensation with the Office of Workers’ Compensation, seeking wage and medical benefits, an independent medical review examination, and disability status.
In response to President Obama’s October 2009 Executive Order directing federal employees not to engage in activities such as text messaging while operating government-owned vehicles, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Department of Transportation have launched a campaign to end distracted driving on the job. The program was announced by OSHA Assistant Secretary of Labor Dr. David Michaels at the Symposium on Occupationally-Related Distracted Driving held earlier this spring. Distracted driving, including cell phone use and text messaging while driving, is a major cause of motor vehicle crashes and consistently ranks among the leading causes of worker fatalities. According to the Department of Transportation, more than 5,400 people died in crashes linked to distracted driving in 2009. Dr. Michaels called for employers to take actions to protect employees by prohibiting texting while driving on the job and cited the legal responsibility employers have to maintain a safe workplace. Under OSHA’s new enforcement strategy, “companies are in violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act if, by policy or practice, they require texting while driving, or create incentives that encourage or condone it, or they structure work so that texting is a practical necessity for workers to carry out their job.” OSHA will begin investigating credible reports of employer violation and accident reports and will issue fines and penalties to companies requiring or condoning texting while driving. In states where cell phone use while driving is restricted or banned, on the job accidents involving illegal cell phone use […]
If an employee is injured in a Louisiana car wreck while in the course and scope of his employment, he has not only a claim against his employer’s workers compensation insurer, but also has a third party claim against the other driver for that driver’s fault. What if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured? The injured employee may then make a claim against his own uninsured motorist policy or even against his employer’s uninsured/underinsured motorist policy. However, the employer’s uninsured motorist insurance carrier may be entitled to a credit for the amounts the injured employee received from the employer’s workers’ compensation insurer. See Bellard v. American Cent. Ins. Co., 980 So. 2d 654 – La: Supreme Court 2008