NCDOT holds work zone safety summit

A three hour work zone safety summit held during the third week of July by North Carolina Department of Transportation officials focused on how to prevent work zone crashes.

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory emphasized the importance of highway safety by asking motorists to employ safe practices while driving through work zones, noting, “Our state is dedicated to enhancing work zone safety for both the highway worker and the traveling public. Keeping our roads safe is a shared responsibility, and all citizens must do their part.” North Carolina transportation chief engineer Mike Holder led the festivities. Representatives from various departments within the transportation system assisted him. Over 4,600 work zone accidents happened in the state in 2015, which caused 19 fatalities and 2,475 injuries. Three of the people who died during those crashes were construction workers.

If you or a family member incurred a serious workplace injury, you could be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Our workers’ compensation attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC in Raleigh have ample experience handling personal injury cases. Call our offices today at (919) 851-3311 to learn more.

Businesses should attain zero workplace injuries – clients

Clients and investors want a commitment from businesses that they will attain zero workplace injuries, top corporate executives said during a recent national seminar. In a speech at the American Society of Safety Engineers’ annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday, June 29, Raleigh, North Carolina-based consulting and engineering firm S&ME Inc. president and chief executive officer Randy Neuhaus said, “If we don’t have a good safety record, we don’t even get to propose on projects. We wouldn’t work for [electric utility holding company] Southern Company if we didn’t have a good safety record.”

For his part, Oak Ridge, Tennessee-based cleanup contractor UCOR president and project manager Kenneth Reuter said that practicing safety in and out of the workplace “is a fundamental expectation of the client…from a business perspective, it’s the price of admission”, noting that their primary client, the United States Department of Energy, has a zero tolerance policy regarding this matter.

In the state of North Carolina, employees who acquired job-related illnesses and injuries are protected by the states workers’ compensation program, which require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Our attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC can help you file for workers’ compensation benefits if you had been injured in a workplace accident in Raleigh or other areas in the state when you call our offices today at (919) 851-3311.

Heat stroke, heat-related injuries discussed at Safety Stand-Down

Around 2,630 workers got sick of heat illness while 18 others lost their lives due to heat stroke and related causes while performing their work duties all across the United States in 2014 – afflictions which could have been prevented.

In a bid to raise awareness about the perils of heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers, and trade associations participated in a one-hour Safety Stand-Down at construction sites and workplaces in eight Southern states between June 27, 2016 and July 1, 2016.

OSHA’s regional administrator for the Southeast, Kurt Petermeyer, said people who are in danger of suffering from a heat stroke are those whose jobs are connected with industries such as agriculture, construction, baggage-handling, roofing, and landscaping, noting that they should be aware of the dangers of working in extremely hot weather.

If you had incurred workplace injuries, contact our workers’ compensation attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC in Raleigh today so that you can be sure that your workers’ compensation case will get the attention it deserves. If you need help with filing for a workers’ compensation claim, call our offices today at (919) 851-3311.

NC General Assembly confirms appointments for workers’ comp panel

The North Carolina General Assembly has confirmed the appointments that North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory made to the North Carolina Industrial Commission, the agency which handles workers’ compensation issues.

The Senate gave unanimous approval on Thursday, June 16 to Bill Daughtridge, a former member of North Carolina’s House of Representatives and McCrory’s secretary of administration, and Linda Cheatham, who was given another term to serve. The House has already approved their appointments. On Thursday, the House also confirmed the appointment of former Rep. Fred Steen to North Carolina’s unemployment benefits appeals panel, but his appointment is still lacking Senate approval. Steen is currently serving as McCrory’s chief legislative lobbyist.

The attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC handle workers’ compensation cases for our clients in Raleigh and other areas of North Carolina. We have the legal resources and technical skills to serve our clients aggressively and effectively. Call our offices at (919) 851-3311 to speak with a qualified member of our legal team today.

Study shows opioids prescribed in workers’ compensation claims dropping

A new study from the non-profit research organization Workers’ Compensation Research Institute shows “noticeable decreases” in the amount of opioids being prescribed per workers’ compensation claim. The study evaluated 25 states between March 2012 and March 2014.

The reductions ranged from 20% to 31% in the states of Massachusetts, Texas, Maryland, Michigan, Oklahoma, and North Carolina. Other findings of the study showed that 65% to 80% of injured workers who filed for nonsurgical claims and could not report to work for at least seven days received opioids. The states with the highest amount of opioids received were in New York, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana. The simultaneous use of opioids and benzodiazepines was seen in 1% to 9% of wounded employees. Use of both opioids and muscle relaxants comprised 30% to 45% of claims.

The attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC, provide legal services for injured workers in Raleigh and other areas of North Carolina. We can help you receive your workers’ compensation benefits and pay for treatment with your workers’ compensation claim. Call our offices at (919) 851-3311 to speak with a qualified member of our legal team.

Former police officer says he was fired after filing for workers’ compensation

Raleigh County, West Virginia resident Thomas Stalnaker said his superiors forced him to resign from the Mabscott Police Department after he tried to file a workers’ compensation claim to receive benefits for an injury he incurred during training.

Stalnaker then filed a lawsuit on Tuesday, May 17 in Raleigh Circuit Court against the Mabscott Police Department, the town of Mabscott, and Mabscott mayor and chief of police Wayne Houck, claiming personal injury liability and constructive/retaliatory discharge. According to the lawsuit, the Mabscott Police Department refused to turn in Stalnaker’s workers’ compensation claim after he sustained a right knee sprain during training to become an officer. He was then subjected to a hostile working environment, which made him resign his post.

The workers’ compensation lawyers at Scudder Seguin, PLLC in Raleigh are dedicated to helping injured workers obtain the workers’ compensation benefits they need in order to to achieve a fast recovery. Call our offices at (919) 851-3311 to discuss your situation and legal options.

Worker who damaged his lungs in ammonia leak loses lawsuit

Robeson County, North Carolina resident and factory maintenance mechanic Brian Blue was working at the Mountaire Farms poultry plant when he and his supervisor were both injured after an ammonia leak filled the air.

The issue began when the United States Department of Agriculture conducted an inspection of the factory in April 2009 and ordered Mountaire to replace the votator heat exchanger, which uses ammonia to chill the chicken before it is packed. Mountaire, upon purchasing the machine, decided to have employees install the device instead of hiring a contractor to install the part.

A three-judge panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals unanimously decided last Tuesday, May 17, that Blue has no case against his employer and should use the benefits he is entitled to by the state Workers’ Compensation Act. Blue sued after the June 2009 incident that required Blue to have a double lung transplant after being in a coma for five months.

If you are facing difficulties filing suit after a workplace injury, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance from the attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC. We are certified as specialists in workers’ compensation law and can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call our offices at (919) 851-3311 to discuss your situation.

Corrections officer fraudulently collected workers’ compensation benefits

Thirty-seven-year-old former Five Points Correctional Facility corrections officer and former Seneca Falls, New York resident Giddel Feliciano is facing charges for fraudulently collecting $38,000 in workers’ compensation benefits to obtain money for his planned move to North Carolina.

According to investigations made by the Inspector General, Feliciano started obtaining workers’ compensation benefits after his shoulder was injured and continued to collect said benefits by submitting fake medical records. Inspectors further disclosed that Feliciano used his saved up sick and personal leave time to keep his entire salary until December 2015 because he was not reporting for work but still receiving unemployment. It was discovered that by August 2015, Feliciano had already moved to Greensboro, North Carolina, meaning he had not qualified for the benefits he was receiving.

If you are injured on the job through no fault of your own, you have a right to receive workers’ compensation benefits. The attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC in Raleigh, North Carolina can help you receive the compensation to which you are entitled. Call our offices at (919) 851-3311 to discuss your situation and assess your legal options.

U.S. states vary when it comes to workers’ compensation amounts

In a recent investigative report conducted by Washington, D.C.-based National Public Radio’s Howard Berkes and New York City-based ProPublica’s Michael Grabell, it was discovered that workers from different states often receive different amounts for incurring workplace injuries.

The report showed that since 2003, around 33 states have reduced workers’ compensation benefits to injured workers and made it harder for these workers to qualify for the state’s workers’ compensation program. Also, the reporters found that some states are opting out of workers’ compensation systems and are enabling employers to come up with their own workers’ compensation plan.

The report showed that even though employers have been complaining about the “rising costs” of workers’ compensation, rates have actually been the lowest since the 1970s, noting, “in 2013, insurance companies had their most profitable year in over a decade, bringing in an 18% return.”

With the help of our experienced and competent workers’ compensation attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC in Raleigh, you may have a chance of receiving the proper amount of workers’ compensation money needed to support yourself and your family during these trying times. Call our offices today at (919) 851-3311.

Recycling plants frequently pose dangers to workers

Recycling plays an important role in the initiative to protect the environment, but working in the recycling industry is an extremely dangerous job. Workers in this field frequently use heavy machinery and far too many recycling plants provide workers with little to no safety training. Due to a lack of safety training and precautions, recycling plants are cited much more per inspection than many other job sites.

One plant in North Carolina was forced to close after the tragic death of one of its employees in 2012. Sadly, this death would have likely been avoided had proper safety training and initiatives been put in place.

Workplace injuries due to a lack of safety training are far too common, and can be very costly for workers and their families. If you or a loved one has been killed or injured due to compromised safety conditions in the workplace, call the experienced workers’ comp attorneys of Scudder Seguin, PLLC, at (919) 851-3311 to learn more about what we may be able to do for you.