U.S. Representative Fined for Lack of Workers’ Comp Insurance

By Peter DePaolis

The state of Oregon fined David Wu’s campaign $1,000.00 last October for failing to maintain workers’ compensation insurance for the past three years. David Wu is the U.S. Representative for Oregon’s First Congressional District. A Wu campaign worker filed a workers’ compensation claim last October. When the staffer’s health care provider tried to bill Wu’s workers’ compensation carrier, there was no carrier to bill.

The Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division began the investigation when Wu’s then chief of staff told officials that she was unaware of the missing coverage. Investigators determined that Wu’s campaign lacked workers’ compensation coverage from April 2007 to October 13, 2010.

Oregon law mandates that employers carry workers’ compensation insurance or be self-insured. The insurance pays for medical treatment and lost wages for workers injured on the job. It also shields employers from lawsuits resulting from work-related injuries.

A state official said that in about 3.5 out of every 1,000 workers’ compensation claims, the employer lacks coverage. He went on to add that it is unusual for an employer to go three years without coverage.

The state reduced the fine to $500.00 after Wu’s campaign purchased coverage last October. Wu’s campaign still has not paid the fine, however.

Workers’ compensation laws vary depending on the state and they can be complex. An experienced Washington, D.C. personal injury lawyer can inform you of your rights if you suffer injuries on the job. Contact Paulette Chapman, a Washington, D.C. personal injury attorney at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis, for a free initial consultation.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.