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Connecticut workplace illness more frequent than U.S. average

For some jobs in Connecticut, the work and its environment lends itself to a higher risk to suffer from workplace illness. Workers might be aware of the dangers they face, but are willing to endure the risks and eschew the fear of long-term effects to do their jobs. In other instances, they’re not aware of the dangers. In Connecticut, studies have shown that although there are improvements being made when it comes to worker safety, there is still a higher than average number of people who suffer from work-related illness.

In the time from 2011 to 2012, for every 10,000 people, the number who suffered workplace illness in Connecticut declined 21 percent in the year 2012 as opposed to 2011. That may sound like a lot, but it is still higher than the number of people who suffer workplace illness across the nation. In Connecticut, the total percentage per 10,000 people was 21.9 percent while across the United States, it was 20.2 percent.

There was an increase in people who were found to have hearing or respiratory problems, but there was a decline in cancer, musculoskeletal issues and allergies. Even with the decline of musculoskeletal issues, that was still the highest number of work-related illness reported. It was found to be one-third of them to as high as half of them. Eight to 11 percent of the workplace illnesses were respiratory in nature. People with skin conditions were between five and 21 percent. The differences in data stemmed from the different sources that were used to account for the totals.

While some jobs are more dangerous for workers to become ill than others, that doesn’t mean that the workers who decide to do those jobs don’t have any rights to be compensated if they suffer long-term effects from their vocational choice. Many people who grow sick from the work they do might not realize that illnesses can be eligible for compensation just as injuries are. With a workplace illness, there might be hefty medical expenses and an inability to continue working the number of hours that were worked before, if the person can work at all. Any person who suffers from a workplace illness may want to discuss the matter with an experienced attorney to find out their legal options.

Source: Safety+Health, “Connecticut workplace illnesses down, but still higher than average,” Accessed on Oct. 4, 2014


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Verdicts & Settlements

36-year-old laborer for landscaping company fractured wrist when fellow employee hit him with truck. Claimant received in excess of $30,000 in workers’ compensation benefits for total disability and medical expenses and settled with automobile insurance company for fellow employee for $95,000.

1989 workers’ compensation claim settled for $125,000. Claimant originally sustained a low back injury when she slipped and fell at local grocery store resulting in low back surgery in 1989. Several years later, claimant exacerbated her low back injury. Claim was reopened and settled with carrier for $125,000 in 2006.

47-year-old deli clerk sustained low back injuries at work for local supermarket. Carrier originally denied claim on the grounds that the injury was pre-existing. After formal workers’ compensation hearing carrier accepted claim and paid all total disability benefits and medical expenses in excess of $100,000. Case then settled for an additional $100,000 after injured person received a permanent disability rating.

34-year-old male roofer sustained multiple injuries to his shoulder, neck, back and hip when he fell from roof during work. Claimant was provided workers’ compensation benefits in excess of $100,000 and settled remaining claims for an additional $55,000.

40-year-old male working for cleaning company sustained neck and low back injuries when he fell on defective staircase while cleaning local museum. Claimant recovered over $95,000 in workers’ compensation benefits and resolved claim against museum for $85,000.

26-year-old laborer sustained fractured foot when a cast iron pipe was dropped on his foot. Employer and workers’ compensation carrier denied claim on basis that injured worker was an independent contractor. After a series of informal and formal workers’ compensation hearings, carrier conceded that claimant was an employee and settled case for $85,000.

24-year-old waitress sustained back injury while working at Outback Steak House. Workers’ compensation insurance company initially denied the claim. After a series of informal hearings, carrier accepted claim paying medical expenses and total disability benefits. In addition to those benefits paid, claim settled for an additional $75,000.

Delivery truck driver sustained right wrist fracture in rear-end motor vehicle accident while in the course of his employment. Claimant recovered in excess of $40,000 in workers’ compensation benefits for medical expenses and total disability benefits. Claimant settled case against at-fault driver for $105,000.

22-year-old male working as stocking clerk at “big box” retailer sustained herniated disc in low back. Workers’ compensation carrier refused to accept the claim. After formal workers’ compensation, hearing commissioner ordered carrier to pay over $35,000 in past total disability benefits and pay for surgery and all related medical expenses. Case settled for an additional $35,000 for a total recovery in excess of $100,000.

Rear-end collision on entrance ramp to Merritt Parkway resulting in 49-year-old woman sustaining mid-back injury. Case settled at mediation after filing suit for $300,000.

28-year-old passenger sustained multiple herniated discs in automobile accident in New York state. New York no-fault carrier paid for extended period of disability from work and medical expenses, including expenses for surgery. Case settled against driver of vehicle for $300,000 policy limits shortly after filing suit.

54-year-old man sustains shoulder injury when hit from behind by uninsured motorist on New Jersey Turnpike. Case settled for $135,000 prior to trial.

CT Transit bus driver sustained torn meniscus in collision with another vehicle. Claims made against at-fault driver, workers’ compensation carrier and client’s underinsured motorist policy. All claims settle for a recovery in excess of $100,000.

68-year-old woman sustained neck and back injuries in rear-end collision and required extended course physical therapy, but was not a surgical candidate. Case settled for $100,000 prior to filing suit.

34-year-old woman sustained concussion and neck and back injuries in hit-and-run accident on a New York highway. Claimant settled uninsured motorist claim for her $100,000 policy limits.

80-year-old woman sustained right foot fracture when her foot was run over in a parking lot. Case settled for at-fault driver’s policy limit of $100,000 prior to filing suit.

38-year-old nanny sustained right femur fracture when she fell down defective stairs in home of her employer’s neighbor. All medical expenses and lost wages reimbursed and case settled for an additional $150,000.

Claim against landlord for defective staircase in multi-family rental house. Claimant sustained a right femur fracture. Case settled for $125,000 prior to filing suit.

$95,000 judgment obtained against bar and nightclub for assault by one of its patrons against another patron.

47-year-old woman sustained a broken left wrist when she fell from porch stairs at house she was renting. Case settled for $95,000 shortly before trial.

26-year-old male bitten on leg by German shepherd. Claim against dog owner settled for $65,000 plus payment of all medical expenses.