Cavalcade of Risk, Linkedin, AIG, fraud, Station Nightclub fire, & strip searches
Mark Wall's excellent WC forum on LinkedIn - While recently attending the National Workers Compensation & Disability Conference in Chicago, I had the opportunity to meet Mark Walls who is the founder of LinkedIn's excellent Workers' Compensation Forum. Mark, who is a genuinely nice person as well as a commensurate professional, has created an impressive network of more than 2,400 members, which includes employers, claims adjusters, insurance carriers, third party administrators (TPAs), brokers, attorneys, risk managers, regulators, EH&S professionals, and vendors that provide service to the workers' comp industry. The group illustrates some of the best advantages and features of social media: industry networking, active discussion boards, and news feeds to blogs and alternative media sources. Members can pose questions or topics and get feedback from other members. Plus, Mark does a great job of ensuring that posts are on-topic and he is strict about disallowing spam. To join, you need to first be a member of LinkedIn, and then you can register to join the Workers' Compensation Forum. Hope to see you there!
The soft market and AIG - if you are wondering why the soft workers comp market persists, read Joe Paduda's post on the implications of AIG's price cutting - it certainly offers some clues. Of course, AIG's pricing isn't the only factor, but when you have an elephant in the room, it certainly can't be ignored.
Fraud surveillance - Roberto Ceniceros talks about cuts in fraud surveillance in both the public and the private sector. He's looking for feedback from others who are experiencing a similar trend. We've also heard talk about cuts in safety and loss control services offered by insurers as part of work comp policies. Any feedback on these issues? It would seem shortsighted to relax on either of these important services.
RI nightclub fire settlements - Insurance Journal covers a recent report on settlement details in the 2003 Rhode Island nightclub fire that killed 100 people and injured 200 others. More than 300 survivors and victims' relatives sued after the fire. You can also follow some of our past coverage related to workers' comp, or the lack of it, in this sad case: Workers' Comp and the Station Nightclub; Avoid Comp Premiums and Pay the Price; Station Nightclub: Who Pays?; Stone Walls and Steel Bars for Business Decisions
Strip search not covered by comp - For nearly a decade, fast food chains throughout the nation were plagued by a cruel and bizarre telephonic hoax, the so-called strip search hoax. The "pranksters" who posed as detectives called fast food restaurants and retail chains and somehow convinced store managers to detain hapless employees. The managers were then guided through a series of progressively questionable and invasive actions such as strip searches of the alleged criminal employees, supposedly on behalf of the police. Sounds weird? It certainly was. In recent developments, Louise Ogborn, a McDonald's employee and the victim in one of these cases, was awarded $6 million in damages for her humiliating ordeal. McDonald's attorneys appealed the ruling, invoking the exclusive remedy of workers' compensation. The Kentucky Court of Appeals disagreed, stating that "We do not find manifest injustice in the trial court's ruling that Ogborn was not acting in the course and scope of her employment while she was held in the manager's office."