Report shows workers’ comp claims have decreased in Minnesota

A report recently issued by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry shows that workers’ comp claims in Minnesota decreased by 44 percent from the years 1997-2009. However, despite this drastic decrease in claims, there has been a 40 percent increase in worker disputes.

Despite disputes increasing, many think that things are improving for Minnesota workers. According to Ken Peterson, the commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry, “Minnesota’s workplaces have become much safer for employees and comparatively less costly for employers since 1997.”

The report was issued as part of an annual series that details Minnesota’s workers’ compensation system from 1997-2009. It also found that because the number of claims fell over the years, the rate of medical, cash, and rehabilitation benefits also fell.

If you or someone you love has been injured on the job and is having difficulty receiving workers’ compensation, please contact the Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyers of Robert Wilson & Associates at 612-334-3444.


OSHA issues new fall protection rules to be followed by contractors

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced a few weeks ago that they would be requiring homebuilders and general contractors to adhere to tougher fall protection rules, and the rules would have to be implemented in at least three months. However, the state of Minnesota opted to implement the rules on Monday, June 20, which has many wondering if contractors will be able to apply the new rules so soon.

As part of the new rules, private residential contractors will have to use standard safety equipment, such as guardrails and netting, to protect workers who are at least six feet above the ground. Critics of the new laws have said that the added cost of standard safety equipment will be passed on to consumers and raise the cost of building houses by $200-$500.

Minnesota contractors only had a couple of weeks to prepare for the changes, and, according to Pam Perri, the executive vice president of the Builders Association of Minnesota, “…to get them up to speed in a short period of time doesn’t happen, especially during construction season.”

Keeping workers protected should be the number one priority for construction companies and contractors. If you or someone you love has suffered serious injuries in a slip and fall accident at work, please contact the Minnesota slip and fall lawyers of Robert Wilson & Associates at 612-334-3444.

Woman awarded $30 million for brain injury suffered in boat accident

A 27-year-old woman from Chico, California was recently awarded over $30 million by a Butte County jury after she suffered a serious brain injury during a boating accident. The jury cited the boat’s manufacturing company, MasterCraft Boat Co., as liable for the woman’s injuries.

The boating accident occurred in 2006 when the woman and her friends were riding on MasterCraft’s X45 boat. The boat, advertised as able to hold up to 18 people, was occupied by 19 people, many of whom were sitting in the boat’s bow. When the boat’s driver made a turn at 5 miles per hour, the boat’s bow became submerged in water and swept the woman and her friend into the boat’s spinning propeller. The woman suffered lacerations to her face and skull and lost her left eye, as well as part of her frontal lobe.

The jury found that MasterCraft was negligent in its design of the X45 boat and did not test the boat prior to advertising to customers that it could hold up to 18 people. The jury awarded the woman $30 million for past and future medical expenses, as well as emotional and physical trauma. The jury is also asking that the X45 boat be recalled.

If you or someone you love has suffered a traumatic brain injury because of a company’s negligent design of a product, please contact the Minnesota traumatic brain injury lawyers of Robert Wilson & Associates at 612-334-3444.

Quality Bicycle Products recalls bike racks for posing fall risks

Quality Bicycle Products, a bicycle manufacturing company based out of Minnesota, recently issued a recall of its Civia bike racks after it was found that the racks could potentially cause the bike rider to fall and become injured. The voluntary recall was announced on June 8th by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The recall was issued after inspectors found that the bicycle rack, which attaches to the front of the bicycle, can crack and break, causing the rack to fall into the bike’s front wheel and become stuck. This could then cause the rider to fall off the bike. No injuries caused by the bike rack have been reported so far.

Anyone who owns the bike rack has been instructed to return the rack to the store from which they purchased it for a full refund.

If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective product, please contact the Minnesota product liability lawyers of Robert Wilson & Associates at 612-334-3444.

Wrongful death lawsuit filed against 15 companies for death of man

A lawsuit was recently filed against fifteen companies on behalf of a Texas man who became ill and died after being exposed to asbestos by the companies. The companies involved in the lawsuit include Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing, ExxonMobil, and American Optical, among others.

The man worked as a truck driver, welder, and laborer for several years prior to his death. During his time spent working with each of the fifteen companies, the lawsuit alleges, the man was exposed to asbestos and developed an illness. Although the lawsuit does not state how the man died, it does cite the asbestos exposure as a cause of his death.

The wife of the man is suing the companies for exemplary and wrongful death damages.

If someone you love has died after being exposed to toxic substances at work, please contact the Minnesota wrongful death lawyers of Robert Wilson & Associates at 612-334-3444.

Louisiana payroll company sued for negligently causing worker to fall

PBC Management Inc., a payroll service based in Mandeville, Louisiana, was recently sued by a man who was working for the company as a crew member on a ship when he suffered a debilitating injury to his right knee.

According to the lawsuit, the man was working on the M/V Grace Nicole in Galveston Bay on May 13, 2009. The man was attempting to get onto the ship by stepping on a small skiff that the ship’s captain had lowered. The man fell off the skiff and suffered a serious injury to his right knee that left him unable to walk.

The lawsuit states that PBC Management Inc. failed to provide the man with a safe environment in which to work. The man is seeking an unspecified amount in compensatory damages for loss of income and medical expenses.

If you or someone you love has suffered injuries at work due to a negligent employer, please contact the Minnesota employer negligence lawyers of Robert Wilson & Associates at 612-334-3444.

Cambridge firefighter dies during training exercise

A 35-year-old firefighter from Cambridge, Minnesota died last week during a routine training exercise with his fire department.

The firefighter was training rescuing techniques with a rope. He was climbing up a rope when he suddenly fell eight feet onto a concrete floor. The man suffered blunt force trauma to his body and head. He died shortly after the accident.

The death has been ruled an accident, although the OSHA is still investigating the incident. The man’s funeral will be held at Cambridge-Isanti High School.

Our thoughts and sympathies are with the friends and family of the man who died in this accident.

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed by a head injury while at work, please contact the Minnesota head injury lawyers of Robert Wilson & Associates at 612-334-3444.

Illinois moves to end workers’ compensation

Legislation to end workers’ compensation recently went to the Senate in Illinois after being approved by a Senate committee. The bill hopes to end workers’ compensation so that fraudulent workers’ compensation cases are decreased.

The bill was approved in a 9-6 vote in the Senate Executive Committee. If the bill is approved once again on the Senate floor, then it will next go to the governor, where it could be made into a law.

While effectively ending workers’ compensation, the bill would force workers to file lawsuits in order to receive compensation for injuries suffered at work. This will bring an estimated 50,000 new cases a year to Illinois courts. So far, no bill of this kind has been approved in the Minnesota legislature.

If you or someone you love has been injured at work and are having difficulty receiving workers’ compensation, please contact the Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyers of Robert Wilson & Associates at 612-334-3444.

San Francisco and EPA work to regulate toxins used in nail salons

Unknown to many, nail salons have long been a dangerous place of employment because of the many toxic chemicals that are used in manicures and pedicures. People who work in nail salons and are exposed to the chemicals for several hours a day have reported illnesses due to the chemicals. Now, San Francisco is developing guidelines for its nail salons to protect workers from toxic chemicals.

Known as the toxic trio, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, and formaldehyde are chemicals that are used in nail polishes for top and base coats. While not illegal, they are listed in the Material Safety Data Sheet as chemicals that could cause birth defects and cancer. The San Francisco regulations are working to remove the toxic trio from nail salons across the city.

Already, over half of the nail salons in San Francisco have switched to toxin-free nail polishes. The Environmental Protection Agency is currently working with the White House to develop national legislation that would follow San Francisco’s lead and ban the toxic trio from nail salons throughout the country.

If you or someone you love has suffered an illness caused by toxic chemicals at the workplace, please contact the Minnesota toxic substance exposure lawyers of Robert Wilson & Associates at 612-334-3444.

Vehicle malfunctions and crashes into Minnesota insurance office

Both the driver of a vehicle and a man working at an insurance office avoided serious injury last week when the vehicle crashed through the insurance office. The accident is thought to be caused by a defect in the vehicle.

The vehicle was driven by a disabled veteran who used hand controls instead of gas pedals to brake and accelerate. The hand controls malfunctioned and caused the man to crash through the window of an insurance office. The man working at the insurance office happened to be away from his desk at the time of the accident and was not injured. The driver of the vehicle suffered a minor leg injury.

Police officers are investigating the accident and what caused the vehicle to malfunction. Officers have stated that the driver made every effort to avoid the collission and will not be cited for the accident.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident caused by a defective vehicle, please contact the Minnesota auto accident lawyers of Robert Wilson & Associates at 612-334-3444.

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