Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

World of Business

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

World of Business

Article excerpt

DEATHS FROM WORK INJURIES DOWN LAST YEAR

There were 6,023 Americans who died from injuries at work last year, 32 fewer than in 1998 despite an increase in employment, the Labor Department reported yesterday.

The 1999 figure -- about 17 fatal injuries each day -- was the lowest since the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics started keeping track in 1992. The unemployment rate for U.S. civilian workers declined from 4.5 percent in 1998 to 4.2 percent in 1999.

There were 6,055 job-related deaths in 1998 and 6,238 in 1997.

The construction industry reported the largest number of fatal work injuries, 341.

JUDGE TO DECIDE ON CLASS-ACTION SUIT

A federal judge in Miami was asked yesterday to decide whether 80 million patients can pursue claims of broken promises against the nation's managed care industry.

High-powered attorneys seeking a national vehicle for grievances against the industry have expanded a case against Humana Inc. to cover the industry, which considers the issues a matter for Congress and not a federal judge.

U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno said he would take at least five weeks to decide whether to dismiss the lawsuit.

The patients are led by Dickie Scruggs, who beat Big Tobacco in state lawsuits, and David Boies, the Justice Department's top private attorney on the Microsoft antitrust case.

Patients charge health insurers are bribing their staffs to reject claims to save money rather than for medical reasons. They also say lists of physicians covered by health-care plans are intentionally bloated with nonparticipants, listed specialists are not necessarily covered within networks, and the internal appeals process is intended to exhaust patients "until they go away," Scruggs said.

BANKRUPTCY JUDGE PASSES ON TOYSMART.COM

A federal bankruptcy judge in Boston yesterday declined to place advance conditions on the proposed sale of the customer list of bankrupt Internet toy retailer toysmart. …

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