Sleep deprivation may lead to workplace injuries

When a person frequently works odd shifts, such as an early morning shift directly after a late night shift, this work schedule can deprive them of the sleep they need to be safe on the job. Additionally, sleep deprivation may cause a drop in productivity.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has conducted a study that shows nearly 30% of American workers do not get the amount of sleep they need. This figure has risen from about 24% in the 1980s. NIOSH recommends employers allow their workers at least ten hours in between shifts.

Sleeping for fewer than six hours a night can cause health problems. However, many people work irregular shifts, which wreaks havoc on their sleep schedule. Not getting enough sleep can lead to numerous hazards including a decline in mental function and an increased risk of injury.

If you work unusual hours and have been hurt on the job because of it, contact the Raleigh workers’ compensation lawyers of Scudder Seguin, PLLC, at (919) 851-3311 for a case consultation.


Firefighter receives workers’ comp while participating in MMA fights

An MMA fighter residing in Los Angeles was arrested at the beginning of April and charged with four separate counts of insurance fraud.

Raphael Davis, whose nickname in the mixed martial arts (MMA) world is “The Noodle,” was working as a firefighter when he claimed that he was unable to return to work due to an injury. He filed claims for workers’ compensation in December 2008, and he continued receiving the payments until May 2011.

While he was earning these checks, he was allegedly still participating in MMA fights. He fought in seven fights between 2008 and 2011. If Davis is found guilty of the four charges, the maximum sentence attached to these charges is five years in prison.

If you need help filing a workers’ compensation claim, please contact the Raleigh workers’ compensation lawyers of Scudder Seguin, PLLC, by calling (919) 851-3311 today.


Workplace explosion kills 2

The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation is looking into the causes of a plant explosion that left two workers dead.

The workplace accident happened on March 1 at a waste water treatment plant in Ohio. The two men who were involved worked at the treatment plant as the maintenance man, and the assistant maintenance man. Both of them were working in the room with the compressor when a wiring issue caused an explosion.

The men suffered burns on more than 95 percent of their bodies. They were both taken to the burn unit of a hospital, and remained there for several weeks. One of them passed away on March 29, and the second employee succumbed to his injuries yesterday.

Our thoughts are with the victims’ families and friends during this tragic time.


More large companies turn to private workers’ comp programs

A growing trend for large companies in regards to state workers’ compensation programs is to transition towards privately funded programs. These programs are more beneficial to the company, and in most instances, are less advantageous in regards to benefits for employees.

Walmart was the latest company to leave Texas’ workers’ compensation program in order to fund a privately owned benefits program. The benefits offered through this new program will be drastically lower than their previous program that was mandated by the state of Texas.

This switch that Walmart made has created quite a buzz among opponents and proponents of state-funded workers’ compensation. These concerns are being voiced throughout the country as more and more large businesses move towards private benefits for their employees.

If you have been injured on the job, you need experienced representation on your side in order to secure the compensation you deserve. Please contact the Raleigh workers’ compensation lawyers of Scudder Seguin, PLLC by calling (919) 851-3311 today.


Current and former NFL players sue league for workers’ comp

Numerous professional football players, both current and former, have filed suits against the NFL in order to earn workers’ compensation benefits.

The majority of these claims have been filed in the state of California, even though most of these men were employed by NFL teams that were not located in that state. The NFL, along with several franchise teams, have filed lawsuits against the men in order to have their suits litigated in the proper states.

These men are seeking compensation for different injuries they sustained while on the playing field. NFL teams do not usually pay medical expenses once the player leaves the program, so these former players must file a workers’ compensation claim in order to gain these benefits.

If you have questions regarding workers’ compensation, please contact the Raleigh workers’ compensation lawyers of Scudder Seguin, PLLC by calling (919) 851-3311 today.


Facebook used in workers’ comp case as evidence of recovery

Photographs posted onto social networking sites were recently used in a workers’ compensation claim as evidence of a worker’s recovery. The worker was attempting to get an extension on his workers’ compensation benefits in Arkansas, but was denied by both a trial court and appeals court.

About three years ago, the plaintiff was injured when working for a retail appliance company and a refrigerator fell on him.  The accident caused the worker to suffer a hernia. After the accident, the man filed for workers’ compensation and received benefits and compensation for his medical bills from his employer.

Recently, the worker filed for an extension on his benefits, but was denied by a lower court judge after his former employer brought pictures of him displayed on Facebook and MySpace into court.  The pictures were cited as evidence that the plaintiff had recovered from his injury–which he argued still caused him “excruciating pain”– because they showed him partying and drinking.

The worker appealed the judge’s decision to an Arkansas appellate court, which agreed with the first judge’s decision that the pictures were sufficient evidence that the worker had recovered from the injury he suffered three years before. The man’s request for an extension of workers’ compensation was denied, but he could still appeal to the state’s supreme court.

If you or someone you know has been injured on the job and needs to file for workers’ compensation benefits, contact the Raleigh workers’ compensation lawyers of Scudder Seguin, PLLC at (919) 851-3311 to learn more about how we can help you receive the benefits you deserve.


OSHA considering updating PELs

According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Fall 2011 semi-annual regulatory agenda, the agency plans to update its PELs. The agenda was released earlier this month.

PELs, or permissible exposure limits, are limits placed on the amount of time a person can spend exposed to a chemical without harm. Most PELs were created in 1971 and have not been updated since.

The agenda states that OSHA is creating a Request for Information that will ask the public to help them determine new and effective ways to limit chemical exposure in the workplace and to address issues created by this exposure.

To learn more about obtaining workers’ compensation for any occupational injuries or illnesses you or a loved one has experienced, contact the Raleigh workers’ compensation attorneys of Scudder Seguin, PLLC by calling (919) 851-3311 today.


Raleigh named 18th most tolerant city in the U.S.

In honor of Martin Luther King Day yesterday, The Daily Beast released their list of the top 20 most tolerant cities in the United States.  Raleigh ranked 18th on the list.

Cities with populations of more than 250,000 were included in the study.  Hate crimes, attitudes on same-sex marriage and religion, statistics on anti-discrimination laws, and racial diversity were taken into consideration when ranking the cities.

According to the study, Raleigh had .02 hate crimes per 100,000 residents in 2010, and 5 same-sex couples per every 100,000 households in the city.

Another North Carolina city ranked first on the list.  Durham, North Carolina was found to have .04 hate crimes per 100,000 residents, and 8.3 same-sex couples per every 100,000 households.  In addition, Durham had greater religious and racial diversity than other cities.

The Raleigh workers’ compensation attorneys of Scudder Seguin, PLLC are proud to be a part of an upstanding community.


Appeals court awards workers’ comp benefits to widow

Last month, the North Carolina Court of Appeals upheld a decision to award $550 a week in workers’ compensation to the widow of a US Airways Inc. employee who suffered a lower-back injury.

The woman’s husband was injured in 2000 while lifting luggage as an employee of US Airways.  Four years later, a doctor prescribed the worker methadone to treat ongoing back pain.  A buildup of methadone in the man’s system was found to have contributed to his death.

The North Carolina Industrial Commission awarded workers’ compensation to the US Airways worker’s wife, but the ruling was appealed by the airline.  The airline claimed that the man’s death was caused by fatty liver disease, which prevented his body from being able to metabolize the methadone he was taking.

The doctor who prescribed the medication testified that the worker did not abuse the medication.  The appellate court ruled that “the toxic build-up of methadone prescribed to manage [the worker’s] pain resulting from a compensable injury to a reasonable degree contributed to his death,” and awarded the worker’s wife benefits.


Pullen Park reopens just in time for the holidays

Pullen Park in Raleigh recently reopened in time for the holidays. The park closed in December 2009 and was opened again on November 19.

During the first week the park was open last month, visitors purchased more than 66,000 tickets for rides on trains, boats, and a carousel at the park. The park’s restaurant, Pullen Place cafe, made some changes before reopening by altering their menu to include locally-grown ingredients and healthier meal options.

This Thursday, the park will begin its 4-day long 2011 Holiday Express event. Through today, tickets can be purchased online for $7.  From Wednesday on, tickets will be $10 and must be purchased at the park’s welcome center.  Kids under the age of 2 are admitted to the park for free.

The city of Raleigh and the Crabtree Rotary Club are presenting the event, which will feature music, arts and crafts, carousel rides, and train rides. The park’s train will be decorated with $15,000 worth of lights for the event. Activities will take place from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Raleigh workers’ compensation lawyers of Scudder Seguin, PLLC  would like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season.