Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation honored the men and women who had been killed as the result of a workplace injury during the Fallen Workers Memorial 2018. To the family and friends of these dedicated workers, we wish you peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your heart
Well yes and no. Pronounced “dwarf" the benefit is actually DWRF (Disabled Workers Relief Fund). DWRF is a type of Ohio workers’ compensation benefits provided to injured workers currently receiving permanent and total disability benefits.
“Permanent and total disability (PTD) benefits pay a worker when that person can’t perform sustained, paid employment due to their work related injury.” Info.bwc.ohio.gov
PTD benefits are problematic because amount paid to the injured worker is fixed. Yet PTD compensation is paid for life. Remember how much gas cost 20 years ago? Less. A lot less. Actually, probably less than half of what it costs today. Things get more expensive. The cost of living goes up every year. That is a big concern for people on a fixed disability income. Huge!
Established in 1953, the DWRF is a special fund to supplement the PTD benefits. Prior to this, injured workers were unfavorably affected by rising inflation and cost of living.
So what’s the problem?
This sounds great right? No application, automatic reviews, and just like that another check in the mail! Well it can be great, but for a few self-insured employees, this can be very misleading.
Self-Insured Employer failed to pay PTD yet Injured Worker received DWRF.
In one situation, an injured worker was awarded PTD. However, the self-insured employer wasn’t actually paying the PTD. The injured worker was receiving DWRF payments, but that is obviously a lot less. Thankfully, an experienced workers’ comp attorney became involved and the man was re-paid what was owed.
The Ohio BWC is a complex system wrought with errors, omissions, unnecessary denials, and other actions harmful to injured workers. An experienced attorney is a necessity to traverse the intricate processes and procedures. Call Garson Johnson today if you have questions about PTD, DWRF payments or other workers’ comp related concerns.
Groundskeeper with Cancer Sued Round-up Weed Killer Manufacturer
Dewayne Johnson, a former groundskeeper, sued Monsanto (the maker of Round-Up) claiming the weed killer caused cancer and that Monsanto failed to warn consumers of the danger.
Johnson was awarded $289 million dollars by a jury trial in San Francisco.
Roundup Tragedy Continues
This is a tragic situation. The situation is getting worse. Imagine if you are a landscaper, groundskeeper, gardener, caretaker, farmer, nursery worker, or even a horticulturist. Part of your daily responsibility is removing or killing weeds, right? The International Agency for Research on Cancer (part of the World Health Organization) announced in 2015 that two pesticides are “probably carcinogenic to humans.” One of these pesticides is glyphosate and is the active ingredient in Roundup weed killer.
Unbeknownst to you, the chemical you use every day could cause cancer! Over 4000 cancer patients are suing Monsanto for failure to warn the public about the risk. Yet, the Vice President of Monsanto made this statement:
"Today's decision does not change the fact that more than 800 scientific studies and reviews ... support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr. Johnson's cancer."
Can you say corporate cover-up?
This is not be the first time a corporate spokesperson denies their product is dangerous.
Think about the tobacco industry.
“In short, [the companies] have marketed and sold their lethal product with zeal, with deception, with a single-minded focus on their financial success, and without regard for the human tragedy or social costs that success exacted,” Kessler wrote in United States of America v. Philip Morris USA. (The Atlantic)
Know someone with mesothelioma?
Asbestos: Think Again: Industry Hid Dangers for Decades the article documents dozens of quotes from corporate memos exposing the dangers of asbestos like this quote:
"We know that you will never lose sight of the fact that perhaps the greatest hazard in your plant is with men handling asbestos. Because just as certain as death and taxes is the fact that if you inhale asbestos dust you get asbestosis."
— 1958 National Gypsum Memo [View document]
Seriously! The industry knew it caused cancer in 1958 yet still used asbestos until 1977!!
Lawsuit Reveals Roundup Memos and Emails
Johnson’s attorney stated:
"We were finally able to show the jury the secret, internal Monsanto documents proving that Monsanto has known for decades that ... Roundup could cause cancer," (The Guardian)
“Monsanto has specifically gone out of its way to bully … and to fight independent researchers.” (The Guardian)
Jury Sends Strong Message to Monsanto
The San Francisco jury listened testimony from many witnesses as well as Johnson’s description of his pain and suffering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a blood cell cancer. Then, the jury proceeded to deliberate for three days and awarded Johnson with $250 million in punitive damages and $39 million in compensatory damages.
Gig’s Up Roundup
Does this scenario sound familiar to you? Or a family member? If 4000 people with cancer have sued already because of Roundup, there are probably more victims. Call us if you have a potential case or questions about filing a lawsuit.
Will the Ohio Workers’ Comp pay for my prescriptions for a work related injury?
If your workers’ comp accident and injury were approved and allowed by Ohio BWC, then yes, workers’ comp will pay for your prescriptions prescribed by your comp doctor.
I originally paid for the prescription. How can I be reimbursed?
The pharmacist needs to submit the bill information to the BWC’s Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PBM). If the pharmacy does this, you will automatically be reimbursed once your claim is allowed. If you paid as a “cash customer” and the bill information was not submitted to the PBM, ask the pharmacy to complete the Outpatient Medication Invoice (C-17).
Important things to remember
Can I be reimbursed for co-pay if my health insurance originally paid for the script?
That’s a no. Any scripts related to a work injury need to be submitted to the BWC’s Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PBM). BWC will not reimburse you for any co-pays.
My medication was denied for requiring a prior authorization. How do I get prior authorization?
The medical professional prescribing your meds should contact BWC's Pharmacy Benefits Manager, ACS State Healthcare at 1-800-644-6292. Or, the prescriber should complete a Medco-31 or Medco-32 (for non-preferred medication). Basically, you need to call your doctor and ask them to make sure your meds are authorized. They should be able to manage this for you.
If you have any questions about your prescriptions or other workers’ comp claim related concerts, don’t hesitate to reach out to experienced and dedicated attorneys at Garson Johnson. We have decades of experience focusing on the Ohio workers’ comp law and BWC system.
***BWC will only reimburse medications that are listed on the BWC medication formulary.
ATTENTION: Clients with hearings scheduled at the Cleveland Industrial Commission Office.
Please be aware of the ongoing construction around the state building. Expect parking and walking delays because of the repairs and replacements.
Industrial Commission- Cleveland
615 Superior Ave. NW
Cleveland, OH 44113-1898
Punitive damages are sometimes awarded in addition to actual damages in a law suit. Punitive damages are considered financial punishment against a company for wrong doing or misconduct.
Zimmer Bioment is currently involved in a multi-district litigation in Florida involving metal on metal hip replacements. Patients receiving this hip implant experienced early failures which often lead to major operations to correct the problem.
According to the Legal Examiner, the judge decided to allow the class action attorneys to go after punitive damages. Judge Henning comments from the partial transcript:
“I think that there is sufficient showing at this time regarding the knowledge that Biomet had regarding the toxicity of the… metal on metal, that they alleged…the damage as far back as 1995 and the testing that was done then, the culture of the company in suggesting that they, once the information was known, not presenting it to the doctors and the surgeons that were using it and trying to avoid subject matter and… even as they showed discussing that having metal in your body is a normal body function and that it would be in there in any event… So, I think at least at this point, there is a sufficient showing for them to be able to allege the claim.”
In previous hip implant trials, juries awarded patients of hip implant defects between $168 million to $1 billion in punitive damages. Hip implant manufactures have known about the health risks, yet continued to produce, sell and distribute the defective devices. The punitive damages will hopefully deter any and all medical device manufacturers from selling faulty devices in the future. Unfortunately, many of these manufacturers have placed financial gain before health and safety of their patients.
In January 2017, the NEW OHIO WORKERS COMP LAW SIGNED TO HELP FIRE FIGHTERS WITH CANCER revealed a new law to help Ohio firefighters with cancer to receive workers' compensation benefits. Then in November 2017, OHIO BWC INITIATES FIREFIGHTER EXPOSURE GRANT PROGRAM discussed grants available to fire departments to improve safety.
This month, Middleburg Heights is joining the list of fire departments utilizing the Ohio BWC grant. Cancer is proven to be a job hazard for firefighters. We applaud the Ohio BWC for providing grants and attempting to reduce the exposure to toxic chemicals in any job environment.
If you Google this question today, you will find many websites with the INCORRECT answer! Why? Because the law has recently changed and if you are an injured worker, it has not changed in your favor.
As of September 29, 2017, an injured worker in Ohio only has 1 year from the date of injury to file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer or the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
Yes! Only 1 year! Think about how quickly time flies. Don’t hesitate. File a claim as soon as possible.
Maybe you’ve been injured on the job. You don’t file a claim right away because:
Whatever your thoughts, fears or pre-conceived ideas about workers’ compensation, know the Ohio BWC was created to provide medical and compensation benefits for work-related injuries, diseases and deaths. Your employer pays workers’ comp insurance to the Ohio BWC or has opted to be self-funded to cover these costs.
In nearly every situation, it is to your benefit to file a workers’ compensation.
Were you injured? Don’t hesitate. Here are your steps:
State Funded Employers? The Ohio BWC
In Ohio, the majority of businesses pay for workers’ compensation insurance to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Most likely, your employer is one of these businesses and is considered to be state funded. In those situations, the Ohio BWC will pay for your medical expenses and benefits of your workers compensation injury. Ohio Managed Care Organizations (MCO) assist the Ohio BWC by medically managing your workers’ compensation case. The MCO will approve treatment, process paperwork, and process payment for medical providers. The Ohio BWC, however, is the entity actually paying for workers’ comp benefits as well as paying the MCO for their administrative functions.
Self-Insured Employers? The Employer
Some very large Ohio businesses may qualify to be self-insured employers. Which means, the business would administer and pay for the workers’ compensation claims against them. To qualify, an employer must meet several requirements including:
What can the injured worker do to get the best results from a workers comp injury?
Engaging and hiring an experienced and successful workers comp attorney is extremely important to ensure the injured worker receives the best treatment and benefits available. It is common knowledge but rarely spoken that injured workers without an attorney receive less benefits, less treatment and overall inferior results.
At Garson Johnson, we represent many employees of nursing homes that have been injured because they are required to manually lift their patients. This nursing home in Sandusky, Ohio invested in technology that has prevented countless work place injuries. Unfortunately, they are in the minority in the State of Ohio. Injuries to nursing home staff continue to be the highest rate of injury of any occupations in Ohio.
Researchers and government reports make clear that working as a nurse's assistant is among the jobs with the highest reported rates of injury in Ohio and the country. Nursing assistants are hurt three times more often than the average worker, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.