Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Workers Compensation Claims Adjuster, Sedgwick, Faces Criminal Charges For Workers Death.

Sedgwick is not an insurance company.  Companies hire Sedgwick to "administer" Minnesota workers compensation programs.  This means Sedgwick and companies like them often make poor decisions that are responsible thousands of claims I have handled over the years.  Unfortunately Sedgwicks recent denials in a workers compensation case led to the death of an injured workers. 

On October 25, 2006, a workers’ compensation judge issued an amended findings and award, ruling that the MRSA infection was a “compensable consequence” of the employee's work injury. Under the courts Order, Sedgwick was required to pay for all reasonable expenses related to medically treating the infection.  Apparently feeling above the law, Sedgwick ignored the judge’s order and continued to deny and delay employee’s treatment.  Unfortunately after numerous hospitalizations, the employee's condition continued to deteriorate, leading to his death on May 2, 2008.  He died as the result of cardiorespiratory arrest, respiratory failure, and pneumonia, all caused by his health care-associated MRSA infection and related medical conditions.

An audit conducted by the state workers compensation investigative unit charged that Sedgwick demonstrated “blithe disregard for its legal and ethical obligations and a callous indifference to the catastrophic consequences of its delays, inaction and outright neglect.”  The District Attorney’s Office is exploring whether to file criminal charges against Sedgwick Claims Management Services and the claims adjuster who handled the case.

Minnesota workers compensation injuries are not a game to the injured worker.  I recently had a new client with a fractured heal have his leg amputated because the employer forced him to work outside of his restrictions in order to keep his job.  The employee subsequently developed an infection similar to the employee in the above case and lost his leg before contacting our office.  Don't let this be you!

Do NOT wait until tragedy strikes you and your family.  If you have suffered what appears to be even a minor injury call an experienced workers compensation lawyer.  Ask them how many years they have been practicing law AND handling workers compensation cases.  I have personally handled thousands of cases over 20 years.  There is no fee to speak to me or my staff and should you need to retain me, you pay the same fee as a lawyer with 5 years experience.  Common sense will tell you that experience matters.  Contact us today at 651-333-3636 and visit us at  There is NEVER a fee unless we recover benefits for you.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Falling Concrete Killed Excavation Worker at New St. Paul Ballpark Site.

Though I often Blog about work injuries, occasionally their are horrific tragedy such as todays death of a union heavy equipment operator in St. Paul.  As reported in the Minneapolis StarTribune today,

"A worker sitting in the cab of a backhoe was killed Tuesday morning when concrete fell on him during demolition at the site of a new ballpark in St. Paul a construction executive said.
The death of John Valek, 61, of Plymouth, occurred about 8 a.m. while he and others were tearing down and clearing the site of the old Gillette/Diamond Products building, a former 650,000-square-foot factory in Lowertown St. Paul.

“As heavy equipment operators were demolishing a building, a portion of the concrete structure supporting the building fell onto the cab of one of the backhoes involved in the demolition work,” Collin Barr, president of the Midwest region for general contractor Ryan Cos. said in a statement issued about 8 hours after the incident. “The accident resulted in the death of Johnny Valek.”
Excavation began in July at the site in the 300 block of 5th Street, near Interstate 94 and Hwy. 52, and was slated to last four months.

Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard described Valek’s death as sudden and came when he was hit by a piece of concrete measuring roughly 10 feet by 30 feet.  The excavation work was being done by Rachel Contracting, of St. Michael, Minn. Executives with the subcontractor were not immediately available to comment.

Randy Valek said his brother had more than 25 years of experience in construction. He said his brother had recently talked about what a tough job this demolition was.
“You got to watch out any time you’re around any equipment,” Randy Valek said.

At Atkinson Law Office we have handle many such death cases.  One would think that these cases are straightforward, but often issues arise as to dependency benefits, spousal retraining benefits, and death benefits.  If you or a loved one sustains a work related injury, one of our very experience lawyers is waiting to assist you.  Call today at 651-333-3636 or visit us at