Family of El Faro crew member files suit against missing captain, cargo ship company

Joanna Johnson is suing Tote Services, Tote Maritime Puerto Rico, and Captain Michael Davidson for $100 million due to their alleged negligence which led to the presumed death of Lonnie Jordan. Jordan was a crew member along with 33 others on the cargo ship El Faro, which disappeared off the coast of the Bahamas on Thursday, October 1 after departing two days prior.

It is believed that the El Faro sank during Hurricane Joaquin, which produced winds as high as 140 miles per hour and waves over 50 feet tall, on its way to Puerto Rico. Johnson’s attorney, Willie E. Gary, stated that Tote Services and Tote Maritime Puerto Rico knew that the El Faro was not seaworthy, yet they refused to use a different boat in order to save money.

Tote Services has stated that it will not comment on the case while the ship’s disappearance is still under investigation; however, representatives said that Captain Davidson, also presumed missing, had an adequate plan to manage the rough waters that only failed when the ship’s main propulsion stopped working correctly.


Studies released on trends in workers’ compensation programs

According to two new studies published by CompScope Medical Benchmarks and 16th Edition which were recently released by the Workers’ Compensation Institute, there are different factors behind medical payment trends per claim in at least seventeen states’ workers’ compensation systems. The studies focused on the following states: New Jersey, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. These seventeen states represent over sixty percent of the country’s workers’ compensation benefit payments.

The study also noted how legislative and regulatory amendments on such costs affect the programs in general.

WCRI executive vice president and counsel Ramona Tanabe said the reports contain significance when it comes to “identify[ing] where medical costs and care patterns may be changing.”

Our attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC specialize in litigating and settling workers’ compensation issues and cases in Raleigh and other areas in North Carolina. Contact one of our workers’ compensation attorneys today by calling our offices at (910) 488-1600.

State drug formularies to be discussed by workers’ comp expert

Health Strategy Associates principal Joseph Paduda is scheduled to talk about North Carolina’s workers’ compensation drug formularies at the twentieth annual North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference this coming Wednesday to Friday, October 14 to 16 at the Raleigh Convention Center.

Paduda will be talking about this subject in response to questions concerning the impact of state drug formularies to workers’ compensation fees in general. He is expected to lay out the different types of formularies, with their corresponding pros and cons.

Paduda will illustrate state drug formularies found in Texas, Oklahoma, Washington, and Ohio and relay these states’ experiences with their corresponding formularies. Paduda’s definition of the term formulary is “a list of medications that can be dispensed without prior authorization and a ‘restricted’ list of medications that require pre-authorization”.

Paduda noted that Texas saw a 10% decrease in opioid prescriptions during the formularies’ first year of implementation, saying that one of the key goals of state drug formularies is to reduce pharmacy expenses in workers’ compensation systems.

Being hurt in a workplace accident is devastating. Not only do you face the burden of paying for expensive medical bills to cure your ailment, you lose the opportunity to work and earn your daily wages. If this happens to you in Raleigh or other areas in North Carolina, our attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC can help you file for workers’ compensation benefits. Contact us today by dialing 919-851-3311.