Workers’ compensation fraud has a trickle-down effect on everyone

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"A onetime U.S. Postal Service employee in western Minnesota has admitted to vigorously participating in dog agility events while cheating the government out of more than $100,000 in federal disability benefits by falsely claiming that a workplace injury sharply limited her time on the job. Lisa A. Schafer, 57, of Glenwood, pleaded guilty in federal court in St. Paul last week to theft of government funds in connection with the thefts that spanned more than 3½ years until May 2019. In exchange for her guilty plea, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said it would ask the court to spare Schafer a…

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Family to receive $90k in wrongful death suit against police department and city

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"Jason Hunt, 41, was in the wrong place at the wrong time when a man police were chasing hit and killed him on Douglas Avenue in August 2016. A passenger in Hunt's car was hurt in the chase but survived. Police had been chasing 34-year-old Darnell Browder after an officer tried to stop him for driving without license plates. In March of 2017, Browder pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide. Later that October, Hunt's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Des Moines and a Des Moines police officer." Read about this story here. In situations like these,…

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Shark Tank star involved in fatal boating accident

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"Kevin O'Leary's boat was involved in a crash in Ontario, Canada that left one man dead, and a woman critically injured ... TMZ has learned. The accident happened on Lake Joseph late Saturday, around 11:30 PM when a smaller boat -- owned by O'Leary -- rammed into a larger boat ... going directly over its bow and striking a male passenger in the head, killing him instantly. Sources connected to Kevin tell TMZ, the "Shark Tank" star says there is video that captures the area of the lake where the collision occurred, and he is looking to get the video…

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Motorcyclist killed in 4-vehicle crash near North Branch MN

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"One person is dead following a four-vehicle crash near North Branch Tuesday afternoon. A crash report from the Minnesota State Patrol says the deadly accident happened around 3:45 p.m. on Hwy. 95 near 392nd St. The incident began in the westbound lane of Hwy. 95 when a Dodge Ram rear-ended a Chevy Cruze, sending the car into the eastbound lane of traffic where it collided with a motorcycle. The Ram then crashed into a westbound Honda Fit that was waiting to turn left at 392nd St. The motorcyclist was killed, and has been identified as Larry Micheal Cooper, 58, of…

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Situations that are considered for child custody and visitation

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Who’s a parent the child has stronger emotional ties. The child’s emotional health is equally important to their general health and wellness. Among all others, the court wants to identify which parent the child has deeper emotional ties with. This can be determined by taking into account who has more knowledge of the child’s interests, likes, etc., and who has the tendency to care for the child's needs. The emotional tie also reflects the quality of the child’s relationship with their parents. The court determines which parent the child is more comfortable to be around. The mental and physical wellbeing…

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How workers’ comp can affect a personal injury lawsuit

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"Most slip and fall cases are filed as premises liability claims. But if your accident happened at work, your employer’s workers’ comp coverage might actually bar you from filing a personal injury lawsuit. In Minnesota, nearly all employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. That means most employees who get hurt on the job must file a workers’ comp claim in lieu of a personal injury claim. Since workers’ comp only covers medical care, vocational rehabilitation, and a portion of lost wages, though, injured employees are inclined to pursue other avenues of compensation. Fortunately, there are scenarios in which…

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U.S.P.S. wants you to be aware of the seriousness of dog bites

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"Nearly 6,000 postal employees were attacked by dogs last year, but that pales in comparison to the 4.5 million Americans attacked each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of victims are small children, the elderly and Postal Service carriers — in that order — are the most frequent victims. The Postal Service continues its tradition of calling attention to this public health issue. 2019 National Dog Bite Prevention Week takes place April 14-20. Our campaign theme is "Avoid the BITE.”" You can read more about this story here. The post office also gives some…

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Lapse in worker’s compensation coverage results in massive fine for bakery

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"The bakery reopened four days later, after the Vial family that owns the business secured insurance. In addition to having to throw out perishable supplies and dough during that four-day closure, they paid their workers for the time they lost. The tens of thousands of dollars the Vial family had spent three years saving to purchase a new oven flew out the window as they scrambled to re-open. And then came the fine. In a judgement filed March 5 in Monterey County Superior Court, Lafayette Bakery was ordered to pay a penalty of $166,080 to the Labor Commissioner’s Uninsured Employers…

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Child custody laws go unenforced in Texas

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"Records obtained by KFOX14 Investigates show there were more than 4,000 reports taken by the El Paso Police Department for child custody interference from 2016 to 2018. Of those cases, 229 were presented to the district attorney's office Only 11 were indicted. That's just 5 percent of cases presented." Read more on this story here. Unfortunately, child custody laws can be a tricky situation for law enforcement. Even when there is evidence that one parent is denying the other custody or visitation rights, there is no guarantee of a quick resolution. In the case of the jurisdiction of El Paso,…

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Washington State and Federal Government Fight Over Worker’s Compensation

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"After working 18 years in the plutonium finishing plant at Hanford, the most radioactive waste site in the western hemisphere, Rouse had to quit due to severe health problems that include toxic encephalopathy, dementia and nerve damage. Certain that the job caused his illnesses, Rouse filed for workers' compensation. For 10 years his claim was denied. But last year the Washington State Legislature changed the rules passing a law that only affects Hanford workers. It creates a presumption that exposure to chemicals at work is to blame for a long list of illnesses, including several cancers. The new law also…

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