Thursday, December 30, 2010

LWCC Pays $22.5 Million Dividend To Businesses While Workers Are Cheated

It’s a daily occurrence at hazardous work sites throughout Louisiana. A worker is injured or killed and must depend upon workers compensation to provide income for medical attention, food, housing, education and clothing. That's how the system is supposed to work, but it is not reality.

In reality, the employer does everything in its power to prevent the worker from recovery. The most devastating weapons in the arsenal of employer assault are the Louisiana Worker's Compensation Corporation (LWCC) and the legal impediments to the worker hiring an attorney.

As originally conceived, the LWCC was a creature of the state, state-funded, state-controlled, favoring employers over workers. To make matters worse, Louisiana law limits the amount of money that an injured worker can pay to an attorney for legal representation. By contrast, employers are allowed to pay their attorney whatever it takes to win the case. A virtual David and Goliath legal battle takes place, but, here, the corporate Goliath always wins.

Recently, LWCC announced it would pay a $22.5 million dividend, to be divided among about 18,000 policyholders. The policyholders or employers! In 2009 LWCC paid a $15 million dividend to policyholders; over the past eight years, the business has paid out nearly $159.3 million in dividends. Meanwhile, workers are cheated.

Here in Louisiana, workers compensation is "checkbook justice" from beginning to end!

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