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29 Results for Articles by Russell W. Wilson
Russell W. Wilson
Of Counsel
Wausau Office
In The Blue Ink Blog.

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Federal Court Applies Worker’s Compensation Exclusive Remedy to Asbestos Secondary Exposure Lawsuit

Posted on April 20, 2015, Authored by Russell W. Wilson
Russell W. Wilson
Of Counsel
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

Plaintiffs in asbestos personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits often attempt to circumvent the exclusive remedy of worker’s compensation. The federal district court for the Western District of Wisconsin has recently applied Wisconsin’s exclusive reme…

Employer Waived the Exclusive Remedy Protection of Worker’s Compensation

Posted on May 11, 2015, Authored by Russell W. Wilson
Russell W. Wilson
Of Counsel
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

The important protection that employers have under Wisconsin’s Worker’s Compensation Act is the exclusive remedy against employees for work-related accidents, conditions, or illnesses. While the employer enjoys near immunity from a civil suit, that prote…

Seventh Circuit Affirms “Willful” OSHA Violation

Posted on May 18, 2015, Authored by Russell W. Wilson
Russell W. Wilson
Of Counsel
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a decision that is interesting for its discussion and analysis of what a “willful” OSHA violation means. A worker for a precast concrete manufacturer fell into a sand bin in which he became engulfed up to h…

Fairly Debatable IME Report Defeats Bad Faith Claim in Worker’s Compensation

Posted on July 6, 2015, Authored by Russell W. Wilson
Russell W. Wilson
Of Counsel
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

This scenario in worker’s compensation is familiar.  A worker has a pre-existing, degenerating, and progressively deteriorating condition, in this case an old injury to his knee.  Later, there’s an accident at work, shortly after which, knee surgery is r…

Comparative MRIs Support IME Opinion

Posted on October 13, 2015, Authored by Russell W. Wilson
Russell W. Wilson
Of Counsel
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has affirmed a Labor and Industry Review Commission (LIRC) decision that denied additional benefits for an initially conceded injury based on the independent medical examiner’s (IME) review of comparative MRIs.  David Dolla…

Worker’s Compensation Light Duty Programs for Occupationally Injured Employees and the ADA

Posted on November 24, 2015, Authored by Russell W. Wilson
Russell W. Wilson
Of Counsel
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

Employers often establish a light-duty program that is reserved for employees who have work-related injuries or conditions during their healing periods.  The hallmarks of these programs is that temporary light-duty work is reserved for those employees re…

Anhydrous Ammonia Release Kills Worker – U.S. DOJ Sues Company Under the Clean Air Act

Posted on December 30, 2015, Authored by Russell W. Wilson
Russell W. Wilson
Of Counsel
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

Companies that use anhydrous ammonia as a refrigerant may be regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) Risk Management Plan program under the Clean Air Act and by OSHA’s Process Safety Management program under the Occupational Safet…

Exclusive Remedy of Worker’s Compensation Bars State Law Claims for Emotional Distress

Posted on February 1, 2016, Authored by Russell W. Wilson
Russell W. Wilson
Of Counsel
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

The federal District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin dismissed two state law emotional distress claims in a lawsuit based on the exclusive remedy provision of the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act (WCA).  The employee filed suit under the A…

Repeated Inadvertent Errors Do Not Constitute “Substantial Fault” For Unemployment Insurance (Or For Worker’s Compensation)

Posted on April 25, 2016, Authored by Russell W. Wilson
Russell W. Wilson
Of Counsel
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

“Substantial fault” is a new concept that may determine whether a terminated employee is eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.  In 2013 the Wisconsin Legislature amended the unemployment insurance eligibility statute to create “substantial fault”…

Wisconsin Court of Appeals Rejects Labor and Industry Review Commission's Worker's Compensation Determination as Unreasonable

Posted on June 28, 2016, Authored by Russell W. Wilson
Russell W. Wilson
Of Counsel
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

Circuit courts and appellate courts commonly apply “great weight deference” to worker’s compensation benefit determinations made by the Labor and Industry Review Commission (“LIRC”), but not this time.  In an unpublished opinion issued by the Wisconsin C…

OSHA Ban on Incident-based Safety Incentive and Routine Mandatory Post-incident Drug Testing Programs Delayed

Posted on July 18, 2016, Authored by Russell W. Wilson
Russell W. Wilson
Of Counsel
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

The date for implementation of OSHA’s ban on two programs – Incident-based Safety Incentive and Routine Mandatory Post-incident Drug Testing – has been set back from August 10, 2016, to November 1, 2016, as a result of motion practice in a legal challeng…

Employers Who “Usually” Employ 3 or More Employees: the Threshold for Mandatory Worker’s Compensation in Wisconsin

Posted on August 2, 2016, Authored by Russell W. Wilson
Russell W. Wilson
Of Counsel
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

In general (i.e. non-farm) employment, Wisconsin’s Worker’s Compensation Act becomes mandatory for employers under either of two circumstances.  In the event such an employer pays $500 in wages during any calendar quarter, worker’s compensation becomes m…

Worker's Compensation: Opt Out in Wisconsin?

Posted on November 7, 2016, Authored by Russell W. Wilson
Russell W. Wilson
Of Counsel
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

In 2014 Oklahoma enacted a radical change to its workers’ compensation statute, and on September 13, 2016, the Oklahoma Supreme Court held that it violates the state constitution. The case is Dillard’s, Inc. v. Vasquez, 2016 OK 89. Some version of the Ok…

Automobile Dealerships and Part Suppliers: Unintended Consequences in Whistleblower Rules?

Posted on December 15, 2016, Authored by Russell W. Wilson
Russell W. Wilson
Of Counsel
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

OSHA enforces laws that protect whistleblowers under 22 whistleblower statutes ranging from the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act to the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment Reform Act for the 21st Century.  This article focuses on OSHA’s final rule …

OSHA’s Final Rule Clarifying (and Confirming) the Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness

Posted on December 20, 2016, Authored by Russell W. Wilson
Russell W. Wilson
Of Counsel
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

OSHA has always taken the position that the duty to record accurate and complete injuries and illnesses is a continuing duty.  OSHA concedes, however, “that its recordkeeping regulations were not clear with respect to the continuing nature of employers’ …

Willful Permit-Required Confined Space Entry Citation Upheld by the Seventh Circuit

Posted on February 9, 2017, Authored by Russell W. Wilson
Russell W. Wilson
Of Counsel
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

On February 1, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the decision of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (“Commission”) which imposed serious willful citations under the permit-required confined space …

Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance Benefits Upon Discharge for Absenteeism – the Employer’s Policy May Be More Generous, But Not More Restrictive, Than the Statutory Default

Posted on March 21, 2017, Authored by Russell W. Wilson
Russell W. Wilson
Of Counsel
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals issued a decision in an unemployment insurance benefits case on March 8 that provides clarity where an employee is discharged for absenteeism.  The case is Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development v. Wisconsin Labor an…

Unemployment Benefits Cannot Be Denied Based on Eight Cash Transaction Inadvertent Errors Out of 80,000 Transactions in a 21-Month Period

Posted on May 22, 2017, Authored by Russell W. Wilson
Russell W. Wilson
Of Counsel
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has interpreted the meaning of “substantial fault” in an unemployment insurance case, which will be applicable in worker’s compensation cases, as well.  The case is Operton v. Labor and Industry Review Commission, 2017 WL 1743…

A Seemingly Important Win for Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Insurance Carriers and Employers

Posted on July 11, 2017, Authored by Russell W. Wilson
Russell W. Wilson
Of Counsel
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

On its face the decision of the Wisconsin Supreme Court in Flug v. LIRC, 2017 WI 72 (decided on June 30, 2017), is a clear, important win for the employer side in common injuries that involve pre-existing degenerative conditions.  The general circumstanc…

Attempted End Run Around Wisconsin’s Exclusive Remedy of Worker’s Compensation Fails in Asbestos Litigation in the Seventh Circuit

Posted on July 13, 2017, Authored by Russell W. Wilson
Russell W. Wilson
Of Counsel
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

Wisconsin’s exclusive remedy of worker’s compensation has long been a bulwark against civil suits brought by employees (subject to a few narrow exceptions not applicable here).  This bulwark has survived a creative attack in an asbestos case in Pecher v.…

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