Workers Compensation Forum

Author Subject: Workers Compensation Forum
Kay Posted At 02:34:48 02/17/2000
The forum took place at the Oregon Convention Center on Tuesday. Maria Carraher, Ombudsman for Injured Workers and Paige McMillen, Chief Assistant Ombudsman spoke about the daunting task facing injured workers attempting to gain access to the Workers Compensation system and to the pitfalls and obstacles they encounter as their struggle continues within the system. They presented a pie chart representing the the inquiries they receive as follows: Benefit issues-22.5%, Medicalissues-15.2%, Settlement issues-12.1%, Claim processing issues-11.9%, Orders & Appeal issues-8.6%, Denials-7.8% and Work release issues-7.7%. Although vastly outnumbered by insurance claim adjusters and administrators and others representing various business interests, injured workers were well represented by a panel of advocates consisting of Lynn-Marie Crider, Reserch & Education Director, AFL-CIO, Randy Elmer of Kryger, Alexander, Egan & Elmer and past president of Oregon Workers Compensation Attorneys and Billy Washington, president of
of Workplace Injured-Oregon Injured Workers United. Billy, despite being challenged quite aggressively, took the high ground and calmly, forcefully and persuasively described the suffering and abuse endured by injured workers under the present system and spoke of the necessity of reforming it to make it fair for injured workers. By contrast, Billy's attackers appeared angry and defensive and were unsuccesful in drawing him into a confrontation. I was personally gratified to see injured workers getting the long-overdue attention and concern they deserve. I am very hopeful that injured workers will make great strides this year through Supreme Court decisions, ballot measures and by the election of worker-friendly legislators. In the near term, in my opinion, the biggest challenge we face is Measure 81 which MUST be defeated. Let us all dedicate ourselves to achieving that objective. In solidarity we will succeed. God Bless you all.

Fred Johnson Re: Workers Compensation Forum (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 11:31:43 02/17/2000

Hats off to Maria Carreher and Billy Washington, for standing up and being heard, not only at the Convention Center, but everyday.

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