April 18, 2019
BANGOR DAILY NEWS (BANGOR, MAINE

Didn’t scratch the surface

Your recent editorial on the Workers’ Compensation disaster and Rosemary Baldacci’s reply were both great, but did not truly scratch the surface upon this issue.

Both major party candidates this year have had a shot at solving the problems, yet none of the promises to the voters on this subject was realized.

Please reread the press releases by both men after they changed the law, then talk to those of us involved in the system. Ohter than a vast reduction in benefits to the injured party, not one single promise has been realized.

All the comp workers I have been exposed to have been wonderful and seem to be trying their best, but the lawyers and the corporate giants have gone back to business as usual.

Problem one is there are reams of prosecutorial remedies available to the companies if the injured party lies, yet there has never been one single case of prosecution of a witness against the injured, nor is there any way to bring such an action when it is proved by the injured.

All that happens is the injured worker has no income for months, perhaps years, and the thousands of dollars damage to the worker is non-compensable under the law.

While Jock and Joe play “liar, liar, pants on fire,” to obscure the fundamental problems of the state, you of the working press have an obligation to be focusing upon some of the true problems.

You reported the Madison Paper view as news a few weeks ago, yet there is never a line of the horror stories of families destroyed, and lives lost while the lawyers have fun and earn hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

At the same time it has been back to fight all claims tooth and nail, it has been nearly 100 percent increase in rates to the employer.

No man wants a 33-percent reduction in pay, so the monetary incentive is not there, and an average working man does not have the resources to wait several months for replacement wages.

The injury rate of Maine workers is criminal, for most so-called accidents are the result of employer actions. Cutting corners, overdriving the worker, and many other company-driven mechanisms must be addressed, and criminal responsibility assessed against those who cause such damage to fellow humans.

There is no difference between a man who pays somebody to allow them to physically harm them for perverse fun and one who will require it as part of making a larger profit.

While any system will have its share of abuse, the American system of justice requires the working man who is injured be presumed innocent of cause, not guilty until proved innocent.

Nobody has any figures they will give you on legal costs to the insurance companies or the injured. Nobody has figures on how much money is spent by the state and the towns supported truly injured workers awaiting the legal wranglings to end.

Please nip this replay of the Bush/Dukakis charade by bringing some of the problems of Maine out for debate by candidates. Gordon Thompson Troy


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