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Published: Friday, 12/22/2006

The plight of injured workers

Thank you very much for publishing the three-part series on the Bureau of Workers' Compensation.

As head of the Northwest Ohio Claimants' Attorneys, with more than 40 members who represent injured workers on their claims, and section chair of the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers Workers' Compensation Executive Committee, I can tell you that the problems illustrated in the story are not those of a disgruntled few.

Daily, I and my fellow attorneys who represent injured working men and women see these issues over and over again.

The system is broken.

I have clients who are considered properly employed by the bureau or managed care organization by virtue of being returned to four-hour per week jobs rather than the 50 to 60-hour per week job they previously worked.

Others have to fight through four to six hearings to get the chance to search for work with some minimal assistance. We find ourselves fighting tooth and nail to get even routine office visits paid.

Our concern is what Columbus would do to fix it. Original Senate Bill 7, introduced just before the Tom Noe scandal broke, literally targeted widows, orphans, amputees, and the disabled for the sake of "reform."

It was only the publicity that The Blade and other media outlets brought to bear that saved us from the original S.B. 7 and gave us amended S.B. 7, which still cut $200 million in benefits per year, including eliminating benefits to people like the victims of the Jeep plant shooting.

Imagine what the legislature will do next.

Kurt M. Young

Madison Avenue

Marilou Johanek doesn't understand constitutional law. Home-rule laws are not exempt from state or federal constitutions.

Another fact she will not face is that the law does not stop those who couldn't care less about what the law says. Gun phobiacs, of whom Ms. Johanek is one, don't deal with the fact that a gun is the only device a person has with which to defend him/herself against a similar weapon wielded by someone who is determined to kill or demoralize another.

Where does she come up with her concept "majority"? Her stereotyping of people who love firearms accomplishes just what she desires: It makes us angry. I have an affection for my automobile. I love my home. Does that make me a low-life, ignorant, a deviant, etc?

The people's priorities are finally being expressed legally, as state legislators finally recognize the Constitution provides the right of self-protection as well as the right to possess firearms for sport and the protection of one's neighbor.

Why are members of law enforcement armed with firearms? And they are first responders! And that is after the fact!

MILTON C. MANN

Luckey

Your Dec. 14 editorial on Larry Kaczala really irritated me. I don't know Mr. Kaczala from Adam. I know a couple of people who work for him who really aren't even friends, just acquaintances.

Mr. Kaczala has been in office for 13 years and has obviously done a good job. Having spent a lot of time in management, I think Mr. Kaczala has a responsibility to look out for the people who have worked for him all of the years he has been in office. In a country where throwing dirt at your opponent takes the place of standing on one's own record, Mr. Kaczala has not had any dirt thrown his way.

The practice of cleaning house when a newly elected official comes into office is a common and wrong practice. Why aren't people judged on the job they do? Who can blame people for wanting to protect their jobs?

I have never been a member of any union, but unions seem to have their place in today's society.

Basil Lowe

Perrysburg

According to the latest report on casualties in Iraq, coalition casualties have been 3,145, of whom 2,795 were Americans.

What coalition?

I am tired of hearing all that bull from President Bush. There is no coalition!

Bob Gibson

Carey, Ohio



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