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Social Security Benefits for the Disabled: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA).  They are meant to provide a safety net to disabled Americans and their families when working is no longer possible.  Unfortunately, many claims are initially denied for medical and non-medical reasons. If you are dealing with the SSDI or SSI appeals process, a Social Security lawyer may be your best chance to prove your disability claim to the SSA or Office of Hearings Operations (OHO). What is SSDI? SSDI is a program designed for people who have

OWC Does not Have Jurisdiction: Defendant, a medical facility, initially filed three disputed claims against Employer with the Office of Workers’ Compensation (OWC) because they had not been paid for medical services rendered.  Employer argued they had not received notice of any treatment before the claims were filed.  The medical facility voluntarily dismissed its claims with prejudice prior to the hearing.  Employer then filed a lawsuit in state district court against the medical facility alleging that Defendant’s prior claims were frivolous, and seeking sanctions and attorney fees.  Defendant filed an exception of lack of subject matter jurisdiction, arguing that Employer’s suit

Some Maritime Building Materials are Tax Exempt: Plaintiff’s drilling barge caught fire causing extensive damage. Repairs were made at a cost of $11 million. Under La. R.S. 47:305.1(A), taxes imposed shall not apply to sales of materials, machinery, and equipment which become component parts of a vessel of fifty tons and over, if the vessel is built in Louisiana. Further, a tax exemption applies to construction or reconstruction, but not to the replacement of worn components. Louisiana law also provides that the exemption applies if the reconstruction restores the vessel to seaworthiness following its destruction by sinking, collision, or fire. Plaintiff relied on

Case Dismissed Because Not Presented to Review Board: Plaintiff filed suit against a hospital when he developed an infection following spine surgery. Defendant filed an exception of prematurity, arguing that it was a qualified healthcare provider under the Medical Malpractice Act (MMA) and that Plaintiff’s claims had not yet been presented to a medical review panel. The district court granted the exception as to all of Plaintiff’s allegations with the exception of the allegation that Defendant failed to properly maintain and service all equipment utilized in the sterilization process. On a supervisory writ, the Louisiana Supreme Court found that Plaintiff’s

How Long to File for Death Benefits in Occupational Disease Cases: Decedent was a retired firefighter with the Jefferson Parish Fire Department.  He passed away on May 5, 2013.  On January 7, 2015, his widow filed a disputed claim for compensation seeking death benefits pursuant to La. R.S. 23:1231.  Plaintiff alleged that her husband filed a workers’ compensation claim in 2004 for which he received benefits until the time of his death.  She further alleged that he suffered a heart attack on the date of his death, and the coroner amended the death certificate in October 2014 to reflect that the

No Whistleblower Protection for Internal Complaint: Plaintiff brought suit against her former employer under Louisiana’s Whistleblower Statute, alleging that she was wrongfully terminated for reporting unsafe work equipment to management and corporate headquarters. Defendant filed an exception of no cause of action, arguing that plaintiff was terminated for failing to follow the proper procedure of reporting the unsafe condition, and that plaintiff did not engage in protected activity under the Whistleblower Statute. Plaintiff argued that her termination was actually in retribution of reporting defendant’s violation of state law, which requires employers to provide reasonably safe employment for all employees. The

Fax Filing Petition Interrupts Prescription: Plaintiff was injured on a city bus on May 1, 2013. He attempted to file suit on the one-year anniversary by facsimile filing on May 1, 2014. Multiple attempts were made, but Plaintiff received an error code each time due to a busy signal. The Clerk of Court received the fax the following morning, and stamp filed the petition on May 2, 2014. Defendants filed an exception of prescription pointing out that the petition was filed more than one year after the alleged injury. Plaintiff opposed the exception, arguing that he first attempted to fax file the

Damages Granted for Willful False Statements: Claimant allegedly injured his lower back while working as a laborer for the company he owned.  Claimant filed a claim with his workers’ compensation carrier, and while some medical benefits were paid, Carrier denied authorization of lumbar epidural injections and paid no wage benefits.  Claimant contacted Carrier to inquire about the denial of these benefits, and the adjuster took a recorded statement from Claimant.  Claimant admitted to having a minor prior back injury and denied ever being involved in any motor vehicle accidents.  Carrier thereafter approved the medical treatment and began paying temporary total

1983 Relief not Allowed Without Specific Intent: Debtor and her husband entered into a promissory note secured by a mortgage in the purchase of their home. In June 2004, they defaulted on the loan. Two months later, Debtor’s husband passed away. In November 2004, Creditor filed an executory proceeding to perfect the seizure and sale of the property. After filing the suit, Creditor’s Counsel received the original promissory note which was marked with an unsigned stamp indicating the note was paid and cancelled. He also received correspondence from Debtor’s counsel stating that the foreclosure was improperly supported, yet Creditor continued

Employer’s Intoxication Defense Defeated:  Plaintiffs’ father was killed in an unwitnessed work accident when he was caught in a pinch point while operating a lift truck. An investigation revealed that the decedent had traces of marijuana in his blood and urine. Plaintiffs filed a disputed worker’s compensation claim for death benefits. Defendant answered the suit and filed a motion for summary judgment raising the intoxication defense provided in La. R.S. 23:1081, which establishes employers’ various defenses to worker’s compensation claims. Defendant argued that the death benefits were forfeited due to the intoxication, which triggered the statutory presumption that the intoxication caused