This blog is a bit off my usual writing subject matters but it is a hot topic among all of us with the Chinese Communist Wuhan virus still raging. Nursing homes were used by the Governor of New York to “store” or transfer the elderly. This act of stupidity caused the death count to soar in nursing homes in New York. Then to bar family members from seeing their elderly parents only added “insult to injury” and ultimately to greater deaths.
Larry Kudlow is the Chief economic advisor to the Trump Administration. Right after Memorial Day 2020, he made the following statement: “We welcome any American Companies in Hong Kong or China mainland, we will do what we can for full expensing and pay the cost of moving if they return their supply chains and their production to the United States.” A supply chain is a system of organization, people, activities, information and resources involved in supplying a product or service to the consumer. Take a forest for instance. Companies cut down the trees, transport them by big rigs to a lumber yard. At this location they are cut to various sizes. Then construction companies buy the finished product and transform the lumber into apartment complexes, home residences, store fronts, etc.
Prior to the Wuhan Corona virus rearing its ugly head around the world, an amazing number of US parents had enrolled their children in Mandarin language classes. Remember the 2008 Olympics put on by the Communist Chinese Party at the cost of $43 billion dollars? The propaganda value was amazingly effective. One of the main themes of the Olympics was “One World, One Dream.” Everyone thought this huge foreign power was going to become more westernized, more open, greener and less authoritarian. Well how do things look now, 12 years later? Certainly Communist China has not moved an inch, but the Western democracies have moved by leaps and bounds to open our doors to the Chinese.
Neil Young (of Crosby, Stills & Nash fame) once wrote of Alabama: “Alabama, you’ve got the rest of the Union to help you along, what’s going wrong?” Well, Neil, the times have changed and Alabama is a different state indeed! There are many factors that have changed Alabama into a highly technical workforce with a 3.3% unemployment rate and 80,000 new jobs (according to the Bureau of Labor statistics at the end of 2019).
Have we, as a nation, finally gotten to the point where we now see that the Communist Party of China is our true enemy? Over the last 30 years, our leaders, our Presidents, from Clinton to Bush to Obama, have allowed and encouraged our manufacturing of every product to shut their doors in the USA and move to China for the manufacturing. Maybe, just maybe, the Chinese Wuhan virus has a silver lining. After having almost brought our country to its knees, we now seem to be waking up to bringing our manufacturing plants back home. I am pleased to state that this is what President Trump has campaigned and has pushed for vigorously since he was inaugurated in January of 2017.
In these Covid-19 times, employers seem to be looking for ways to cut their payroll. That means terminating employees, whether a long time worker or not. While in Georgia, an employee may be terminated for a right reason, a wrong reason or no reason at all, if the employee is working while under disability related to a job injury, termination of employment does not terminate entitlement to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
It really bugs me when I hear those words “essential worker”. So if I am not considered to be an essential worker I must sit at home, on the sidelines so to speak, while others go to work, earn a paycheck and put food on their tables.
If a partially disabled worker quits work stating that the workplace is not safe due to Corona 19 virus outbreaks at the workplace, should the worker be entitled to an automatic resumption of full workers’ compensation benefits…and for how long?
When the China Wuhan virus began to rear its ugly head in Georgia, I saw it as a wonderful economic opportunity for insurance companies and their lawyers, the emissaries of “delay and deny”. Just look at all the elements of proof the innocent injured/affected worker will have to overcome to have their contracted virus considered a job injury
Now that the states are authorizing the re-opening of businesses to different degrees, businesses, large and small, want immunity from their workers if the business fails to provide a safe workplace. There are many businesses that upon re-opening, will clean and disinfect and provide for their workers a safe, Covid-19 free environment. They will be diligent.
Senator Tom Cotton, US Senator of Kansas, has introduced legislation in the US Senate to return pharmaceutical manufacturing to the USA. Before the Corona Virus crisis, no one paid much attention to our nation’s increasing dependency on the Communist Chinese for our medicine supply. China was and still is producing over 40% of the world’s supply of all the ingredients used to make our antibiotics. And, 97% of the US market for antibiotics are produced in China. Winston Churchill gave a speech in 1934, 5 years before the Nazi armies invaded Poland and Austria in World War II, stating:
The Corona Virus has brought out the best of us but is has also brought out some really thorny problems. To name a few, the USA’s dependency on Communist China’s production of our basic medicines that we have all grown dependent upon. Our dependence on Communist China for all things that protect us from a spreading virus (such as personal protective equipment, face masks, and ventilators); as well as almost all products that are manufactured for sale across the world with the most modern machinery.
SHOULD WE EXPECT A HUGE NUMBER OF WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COVID-19 CASES SOONER OR LATER? Here is a very real hypothetical situation that I would try to classify as a Georgia workers’ compensation injury claim.
It really “bugs me” when insurance company claim adjusters and their lawyers downgrade my client’s mental health after my client has sustained not only a serious injury but has submitted to lengthy and painful surgery and is in or needs pain management treatment.
There are a number of different types of depression. The 5th Edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders lists nine distinct types. The type that I deal with in workers’ compensation/job injury cases is what we would call situational depression. This depression is triggered by life-changing events such as serious injury and chronic pain, loss of one’s job, and for most men a job is how we identify ourselves. This can be extremely devastating.
Another area we fine-tuned in recent years is how to make a persuasive medical cost projection in a case. You may have been treated by a local chiropractor for 10 sessions. Then the doctor orders an MRI of your neck and discovers a herniated disc.
This is a very difficult concept to grasp yet it is so clearly a large value driver for proposals of settlement. There are a number of elements. See my FAQ on “What is an FCE”, “Permanent Impairments”
I am sure you have heard of the statement made by those of us who hate “big” anything:” I don’t want to be treated like a number. Treat me like a real person.”
Clearly the following lead the list but this list is not exclusive:
If you have experienced muscle spasms, restricted movement, radicular pain into your arm(s) or leg(s) anxiety, depression
Nerve blocks, facet joint blocks, nerve ablations, are all in the “bag of tricks” used by pain management doctors to treat you after chiropractic or orthopedic care does not help you any longer.
Whether you have injuries to your neck, back or to your arms or legs, you will need specialized care. I have been practicing for 41 years in metro Atlanta area, and have spent another 2 years prior to my practice, working as an insurance claims adjuster. I can honestly say that I have seen many different doctors come and go.
Ever since the time I spent in the claims department of Kemper Insurance Company in 1977 to 1979, I learned how important it was to have a proper medical diagnosis of the injured person’s condition
In a few prior blogs I have been writing about the mental health of lawyers practicing in Georgia. There seem to be an increasing concern or preoccupation with our ability to function in an increasingly hostile world with our depression, anxiety, alcohol abuse, and drug dependency, highly caffeinated mental and possibly suicidal condition. In other words, how can we properly represent our clients if we suffer from these conditions? In Georgia, the Board to Determine Bar Fitness asks applicants who want to be a lawyer the following question: “Do you currently have any condition or impairment (including, but not limited to, substance abuse, alcohol abuse, or a mental of emotional or nervous disorder or condition) that in any way affects your ability to practice law in a competent, ethical and professional manner?”
Georgia has a system whereby we, the people, vote for who we want to serve on the Georgia Supreme Court and on the Georgia Court of Appeals. We have a non-partisan election in May of every other year and anyone with 5 years of law practice experience can run for any of the vacancies. I’ll bet you did not know that what really happens is when a Judge or Justice wants to retire from the Court where they serve, they announce they are leaving earlier than the end of their term. This allows the sitting Governor of the State of Georgia to appoint a replacement to fill the balance of the term. Then the appointed person runs for a new term as an incumbent. The statistics over the last 30 years demonstrates that the incumbent ALWAYS wins.