Lawyer for 40+ Years
For 40 years, I have been representing truckdrivers, warehouse workers, carpenters, electricians, millwrights, plumbers, machinists (IAM), laborers, glaziers, pipefitters and many other tradesmen for injuries on the job. I represent many union members, from the Teamsters (locals 51, 243, 247, 299, 337 614), Pipefitters Local 636, Millwrights 1102, Carpenters, Plumbers 98, IBEW 58.
I have won cases for employees of Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, Yellow Freight (YRC), USF Holland, Conti Electric, Allied, Cassens Transport, Jack Cooper, Sysco, and dozens of other companies big and small. I have won cases which made new law for injured workers: Viele v DCMA, 211 Mich App 458 (1995).
I was the FIRST lawyer in the United States to use the federal RICO law to sue corporations, insurance companies and their so-called “independent medical examiner” doctors for fraudulent denial of workers compensation benefits. See Brown v Cassens, 675 F3d. 946 (6th Circuit US Court of Appeals, 2012) and Jackson v Sedgwick Claims Management, 699 F3d 466 (2012). I fought the Brown case to the US Supreme Court – three times – and won. (RICO is the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization Act.) I have sued major employers (such as UPS), major insurance companies (such as Liberty Mutual), and their claims adjusting companies (such as Sedgwick and Crawford) and their doctors of conspiring to fraudulently deny workers compensation benefits to injured workers. I am looking to bring similar RICO suits on behalf of Wal-Mart workers who’ve been fired for claiming workers compensation benefits.
Critical to winning a worker’s compensation case is having the right doctor – one who will testify or write letters for you confirming that you have a work-related disability. If you have, for example, an excellent surgeon who becomes wishy washy when asked to write a letter stating that your injury is work-related, get rid of that doctor, because he will lose your case. It is also important to have a specialist doctor, not a primary care doctor, backing you. You have the right to choose your own doctor 28 days after the injury. I have a list of worker-friendly doctors in southeast Michigan who are not only good physicians, but will back you up when asked to write a letter or testify that you have a work-related injury and disability. I know a lot of good orthopedic and neurosurgeons, physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors, etc.
If you are injured on the job and the employer asks you to do light duty, you must do it or lose your worker’s compensation benefits. This is true even if the employer makes you sit at a desk and basically do nothing, like occasionally answering a telephone. It’s also true if the employer or the work comp insurance company directs you to work at a different company. However, if your doctor gives you a “no work” or “total disability” slip, you are not required to work light duty. A problem often arises when your doctors writes such a slip, but the company doctor says you are able to work light duty. If that conflict arises, call me.
If your work injury involved a vehicle, you may be entitled to no fault benefits in addition to worker’s compensation. For example, if you are walking in your employer’s yard and you are hit by a vehicle, you are entitled to no fault benefits on top of worker’s compensation. If you are driving or a passenger in an employer’s truck and you have an accident, you are entitled to no fault benefits on top of worker’s compensation. If your injury somehow involves a vehicle and the employer/insurer denies worker’s compensation, you are entitled to no fault benefits. Call me with any questions.
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