The Denver Post reported on a recent class action settlement in a worker compensation case brought against Wal-Mart in Colorado. Injured Wal-Mart employees with workers comp claims alleged that Wal-Mart and its adjuster hindered medical providers from making independent judgments on how to treat injured workers. Federal judge Robert Blackburn in the U.S. District Court for Colorado gave final approval to the more than $8 million settlement of the class action lawsuit.
Wal-Mart and its adjuster also agreed to provide training to their adjusters in handling future workers compensations claims. Wal-Mart’s service provider, Concentra, who was also a defendant in the case, agreed to provide its marketing and sales force periodic training in the state laws that prohibit outside interference in how medical care is provided.
The settlement should be of interest to Florida workers with Worker compensation cases. Injured workers deserve the same quality of medical care as any other injured person. Workers compensation carriers often have adverse interests to paying for medical treatment. Playing a dual role, the carrier often finds itself contesting the need for treatment and the severity of the injuries while also needing to authorize payment to the medical provider.
The Wal-Mart case in Colorado shows how these conflicting interests can have a negative impact on the medical care received by injured workers. As workers comp attorneys, we fight to ensure our clients receive the highest quality of medical care.