Worker’s Compensation

March 2, 2022

Feature Interview: Christine Foster

This year, in January of 2022, Christine Foster’s law firm, Foster Law PC. rang in it’s 30th year of service. Some may know, that the 30th anniversary is the year of the pearl. The pearl signifies wisdom, strength, and integrity, which are perfect descriptors of how Foster Law advocates for and cultivates relationships with their clients. In my time interviewing Christine, I was both encouraged and surprised by pieces of her story. Before beginning her journey into public service, Christine was an incredibly accomplished pianist and was pursuing a degree in piano performance. With 15 years of experience, college scholarships […]
January 4, 2022

COVID-19 and Workers’ Compensation

Washington State Governor, Jay Inslee, declared a public health emergency on February 29, 2020 due to COVID 19. Restaurants and many other businesses closed or operated remotely outside of the office and away from other employees.  However, health care and other front-line workers continued to work with the public and or coworkers with risk of exposure to COVID.  While personal protective equipment was required, health care and front-line workers nevertheless had increased risk of becoming infected with COVID in comparison to those working remotely during “shelter-in-place”. In general, the Industrial Insurance Act covers workers who sustain an injury or disease within […]
January 19, 2021

Mandatory vaccine policies may have workers comp implications

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has begun in health care and senior living facilities across the U.S., and employers in many industries are eagerly awaiting the chance to have their employees vaccinated against the coronavirus. However, employers must balance their desire for a safe workplace with the risks of requiring vaccinations and the potential workers compensation implications if a worker experiences serious side effects, experts say. Employers “need to recognize that if they do impose a vaccination mandate that it’s likely that they are going to have to pay for the vaccination, that this will be compensable work time, and … […]
January 20, 2017

Worker’s Compensation Claims and Pain Medication

Many of our current and former clients are dealing with chronic pain from their work injuries. We see chronic pain management as one of the biggest issues for our clients and one that is affecting injured workers across the country. According to the CDC, more than 16,000 Americans died from prescription painkiller overdoses in 2013– quadruple the total in 1999. In a 2014 study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute examining 264,000 claims from 25 states, researchers found that 65 to 85 percent of injured workers in most states received narcotic painkillers. Opioids, a group of drugs which includes oxycodone and morphine, […]
November 18, 2016

Washington Supreme Court Affirms Rule Giving Attending Physicians “Special Consideration”

Earlier this year, the case of Clark County vs. McManus went before the Washington State Supreme Court, ultimately raising the question of whether the “special consideration” jury instruction be treated as discretionary or mandatory. The “special consideration” instruction requires that testimony from injured workers’attending physicians be given careful thought or special consideration by the fact finder be that the Department, a judge, or a jury. The case surrounds Patrick McManus, a Clark County street sweeper who, after working between 1999 and 2011, had to quit due to a degenerative spinal disease affecting his lower back. The Department of Labor and […]
October 14, 2016

Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules in favor of Injured Workers

Earlier this month, the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down the Opt Out provision of Oklahoma’s State workers’ compensation law, ruling in favor of injured workers. The 2013 legislation gave qualified employers the option to create treatment plans outside of the regular workers’ compensation system. The case involved Johnie Yvonne Vasquez, a department store employee who filed a claim for an injury to her neck and shoulder she sustained at work in 2014. Her employer, which had opted out of the state system and written their own plan, denied her claim. Vasquez sued and the Oklahoma Worker’s Compensation Commission agreed in a decision in February that the Statecannot allow […]
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