The goal of this petition is to garner the support and representation of the American Civil Liberties Union in a due process lawsuit against the State of New York and/or other states within the United States under violations of the civil rights law pertaining to “Deliberate Indifference”, against injured worker’s legal rights to timely and qualified medical treatment thereof.
American workers were improperly stripped of their rights to sue their employer or the state for damages sustained in workplace accidents in 1917 before most of us were even born. Workers Compensation laws, in direct conflict with employee due process rights, quickly spread nationally. Only one lawsuit resulted, ironically, on behalf of employer due process rights. Despite the fact that this contract which lives in infamy violates both employer and employee rights, it has survived for 95 years.
Meanwhile, the "contract" has become so inequitable that millions of American workers are defrauded of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, after being thrown into an adversarial court system, where their $5.00 lawyers fight against six figure slingers who represent insurance companies that are raping America.
Injured workers are forced to obtain treatment from an inadequate, unspecialized list of providers, often with disastrous long term results and are barred from both timely and appropriate medical treatment through a complex paper trail of denials for basic medical care.
Further, their lifetime awards are severely limited, and their income reduced to nothing. Paid Independent Medical Examiners with little or no experience with the injury at hand are allowed to pass judgment on degrees of life time injury, literally whisking away damages for the benefit of the insurance providers who pay them. It's only a matter of time until Claimant’s are completely penniless and wind up on welfare, which lets the insurance company off the hook, but leaves the taxpayers holding the tab for social programs such as food stamps and medical coverage or social security disability, as the statutorily promised income protection and medical coverage is non-existent.
Additionally, Injured Workers who are legally entitled to lifetime medical benefits are finding these benefits are unavailable when they relocate from one state to another unless an out of state provider is willing to take on complex paper processes and pathetic reimbursement rates. Once injured in New York, you will never leave New York, or, in essence, you forfeit your right to coverage.
Due to low reimbursement, high medical malpractice risk (due to lack of timely treatment and authorization), and complex paper processes, the list of available providers is shrinking rapidly from year to year. Often, professional review processes are not employed by State government, and substandard physicians are the only ones left on the medical provider list.
Americans are being defrauded and led to believe they will be dealt with fairly, but all fairness has been removed from the system. Ultimately, Corporations are paying the highest insurance rates in history, while the Claimants are getting next to nothing. Meanwhile, the insurance industry makes a killing. The Workers Compensation contract is inequitable.
PROTECT AMERICAN INJURED WORKERS by repealing the 1917 Workers Compensation Act. In varying degrees, this violation of civil rights due process laws is creating a “deliberate indifference” situation, due to unrealistically low provider rates, medical malpractice risk, and shrinking provider lists. Provider fees and attorney fees haven’t been updated for years, and medical guidelines are being employed which haven’t even been ratified by the State, with each new guideline taking another chunk out of what little the injured worker is currently entitled to.
Before long, we’ll have to pay our employers when we’re injured, rather than the other way around.
The failure of Workers Compensation to meet the needs of injured workers is leading to lifetime injuries which were originally treatable and the collapse of American families.
Additionally, America’s social systems are picking up the tab as injured workers flock to obtain early social security, food stamps, and Medicaid due to their lack of coverage under Workers Compensation laws.
Ironically, while American workers are being ignored, American prisoners are getting free medical treatment. In fact, American prisoners are successfully being represented by civil rights lawyers across this country in order to obtain the same quality of care that Americans have come to expect, and that American Injured Workers desire.
If prisoners have rights under “Deliberate Indifference” guidelines to fair treatment, why not the American Worker?
Under current laws, Deliberate Indifference in relation to prisoners medical or safety rights is defined as a “a failure to act where prison officials have knowledge of a substantial risk of serious harm to inmate health or safety.” Crayton v. Quarterman, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103709 (N.D. Tex. Oct. 14, 2009) (Wikipedia, 2011)
Deliberate indifference is defined as requiring (1) an "awareness of facts from which the inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm exists" and (2) the actual "drawing of the inference." Elliott v. Jones, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91125 (N.D. Fla. Sept. 1, 2009). (Wikipedia, 2011)
In short, failure to provide timely and appropriate medical care resulting in damage is considered a civil rights violation.
Injured American Workers should never have been deprived of their constitutional right to a fair trial, representation, justice, humanity, and freedom. They should not be restricted to substandard medical care, any more than their legal representatives or medical providers should be asked to work for free.
Enough is enough. PROTECT AMERICAN INJURED WORKERS. It is clear based on hundreds of advocacy websites across the country that Workers Compensation does not work. Therefore, the band-aid approach needs to stop. We need real change, and a new system, which is fair and equitable to the American Worker.