Railroad workers install deadly asbestos fiber.
Today’s post comes to us from my colleague Jon Gelman of New Jersey.
For decades railroad equipment, including engines, were heavily insulated with asbestos fiber, a known carcinogen and causally related to mesothelioma, a rare and fatal cancer. Many lawsuits have been filed by victims and their families to recover benefits against the suppliers, manufacturers and distributors of asbestos fiber. In November, The US Supreme Court heard oral argument to determine whether state laws were preempted under Federal law and that state laws were not applicable in judging the lawsuits.
The initial claims for asbestos related diseases were filed as workers’ compensation claims in the United States. Soon it was revealed that the suppliers, distributors and health research (trade) organizations were concealing information to the workers as to the deadly dangers of asbestos fiber. As asbestos related disease, including mesothelioma, became epidemic, tens of thousands of civil claims were filed. Continue reading
Back in 1917 the Supreme Court ruled that Workers' Compensation should protect workers like these men.
Last week we posted on how Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which would require that every American must have health insurance, has been struck down by a U.S. Circuit Court. However, the Obama administration and 26 states filed appeals against this ruling, and the Supreme Court is widely expected to rule on the appeal this fall.
The fact of the matter is, if Obama’s Affordable Care Act is upheld, it wouldn’t be the first time that the government has forced companies to provide insurance for people. The constitutionality of mandatory insurance has been challenged in courts and upheld at the highest level.
The argument that state-mandated insurance for injured workers was unconstitutional was made after an employee was killed in 1914. The workers’ compensation system, in exchange for requiring employers to compensate employees for work-related injuries, exempts employers from liability beyond the limits of the insurance. Employers in 1914 said the United States Constitution prohibited state governments from forcing employers to buy such insurance. Some even called it socialism. Continue reading
On September 28th, 2011, the Obama administration and 26 states filed appeals to a lower court ruling that struck down a provision of the Affordable Care Act (the Obama health care law) that required every American to have health insurance.
The Supreme Court is widely expected to rule on the appeal this fall, and its ruling may put the workers’ compensation system in jeopardy.
Dismantling the workers’ compensation system would make it much more difficult for the vast majority of workers with injuries to receive compensation.
The workers’ compensation system is a mandatory insurance system which makes receiving compensation for a work-related injury simpler, faster and more certain than relying on the courts. Workers’ compensation makes it easier for all workers to get money for treatment of work-related injuries, since they don’t have to go to court to get it. It also limits the amount of money that the most seriously injured workers can receive.
If the Supreme Court decides that it is unconstitutional for the government to force all Americans to purchase health insurance, Continue reading