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1 Quarterly Volume 3 Injured Workers Coalition Wins Fight Against Harmful Proposed Changes to the NYS Workers Compensation System Buffalo Fire Dept, First Responders Appreciation Party Planned See details on back page FREE! Safety Green Work Shirts See details on next page More than $8.5 Million Recovered for Injured Clients in First Quarter of 2015 New York State Guarantees a Safe Place to Work Construction Accidents Fall Down Injuries Auto Accidents Defective Products Nursing Home Neglect Workers Compensation Death Cases Industrial Injury & Disease Social Security Disability Railroad Accidents

2 Follow us on facebook.com/dolcepanepinto Dolce Panepinto has safety green work shirts available FREE OF CHARGE! If you would like us to send you a free safety green work shirt, message us on our facebook page, us at or call us at Sean E. Cooney Partner Spring is upon us. Finally. I m sure you ve heard the old joke about how in Buffalo there are only two seasons: Winter and Construction! Well, there is more than a little truth in that statement. As the weather finally warms up many seasonal construction workers will find themselves on a job site once again. If you are in need of a Free Safety Green Work Shirt, contact us at and we will gladly send one to you. Our firm remains dedicated to fighting for the best interests of Western New York s working families. In this issue, we have highlighted New York State s Safe Place to Work Laws, put in place as an important protection for the hardworking men and women who continue to build up our great city on a daily basis. For those who are unfortunate enough to suffer an injury on a job site, please know of the new Center for Occupational Health and Environmental Safety has opened at ECMC with a full-time Occupational Medicine Doctor who is specifically trained to treat injured workers. The Center will gladly accept workers who are receiving Workers Compensation benefits. A coalition of healthcare providers, labor advocates, and attorneys including Dolce Panepinto, was recently able to beat back harmful proposed changes to the Workers Compensation system that would have decreased the quality and timeliness of care available to injured workers. And while we weren t busy fighting on behalf of working families in Albany, we were fighting on behalf of injured workers in the courtroom, recovering more than $8.5 Million for our clients since the beginning of Lastly, as many of you may already know, our offices were recently affected by a fire in our building. Fortunately nobody was injured and we are extremely grateful to the City of Buffalo Fire Department for the skill and bravery they exhibited while coming to our aid. Stay safe out there. And, as always, if you or anybody in your family is in need of an attorney, do not hesitate to call us at for a Free Case Evaluation.

3 Buffalo Fire Dept On February 20th, there was a fire on the fifteenth floor of the Main Place Tower, one floor below the Dolce Panepinto offices. The fire occurred at roughly 5 a.m., the building was nearly empty and, thankfully, nobody was injured. We are extremely grateful to the City of Buffalo Fire Department and the courageous firefighters who braved the fire, carrying thousands of pounds of equipment up 15 floors into a burning building in order to extinguish the blaze. We are extremely grateful for their service. Because the firefighters did such an outstanding job, our offices suffered only minor fire damage. The smoke and soot damage was widespread but our files remain unharmed and only one day of work time was lost. Even though some employees were displaced from their workspace for a few days, the Dolce Panepinto team rolled with the punches and kept plugging away to make sure that each client continued to receive the level of representation they have come to expect from us, a level of dedication they deserve. First Responders Appreciation Party On Thursday, June 18th at 5 p.m., Dolce Panepinto will be hosting a First Responders Appreciation Party as an acknowledgement of your important work and a thank you for your service. The party will take place at Resurgence Brewing Company, 1250 Niagara St., Buffalo, NY Firefighters, EMTs, Police Officers, and first responders of all types are invited to attend. There will be food, drinks, and lots of fun. Please RSVP by Friday, June 5th to or call

4 Injured Workers Coalition Wins Fight Against Harmful Changes to Workers Compensation System Dolce Panepinto, along with a coalition of healthcare providers, labor advocates, and other attorneys recently celebrated a huge win for injured workers in New York State. The New York State Workers Compensation Board proposed regulatory changes to their Medical Fee Schedule slated to go into effect on January 20, The changes would have cut the Workers Compensation reimbursement rate in half for medical providers who perform specialized medical services, surgeries, and orthopedic specialty care for injured workers. Because the changes were administrative in nature, no elected officials were involved in the initial process, and had the coalition not stepped in, there would have been nobody talking about how this would hurt injured workers even more. As a result of these efforts, these regulatory changes did not go into effect and have been tabled indefinitely. For medical professionals, the administrative costs associated with treating an injured worker in the NYS Workers Compensation system are already higher than they are for patients with private health insurance. These changes, had they been allowed to go into place, could have lead to medical providers simply choosing to not treat injured workers in the Workers Compensation system. Fewer options for injured workers can mean a lower quality of care and increased wait times to see a medical professional. Dolce Panepinto, and a coalition comprised of The New York State Society of Orthopedic Surgeons, local claimants attorneys, the United Auto Workers (UAW), Senator Marc Panepinto, Senator Tim Kennedy, Assemblyman Sean Ryan, and local physicians Dr. William Capicotto, Dr. Michael Grant, Dr. Eric Roger, Dr. Cameron Huckell of Pinnacle Orthopedics, Excelsior Orthopedics, and others, banded together to successfully defeat this regulatory barrier to quality health care for injured workers. This past October, Partner Frank Dolce testified before a delegation of state legislators in Western New York and, in January, members of the coalition testified before a special hearing of state legislators. These appearances, coupled with various political efforts, were enough to persuade the New York State Worker s Compensation Board to cancel the implementation date and table the changes indefinitely. There are still those within the system who would like to see these harmful proposed changes become a reality so the coalition s mission continues. We are committed to preventing any change in a Medical Fee Schedule that will make it more difficult for injured workers to obtain prompt medical care, explained Partner Frank Dolce. We are keeping our eye on Albany and are ready to fight against any harmful changes.

5 New York Guarantees a The right to a safe place to work is guaranteed by several New York State laws. Property owners, contractors and employers must comply with these safety laws or they can be held liable in court. When a worker is injured as a result of a violation of one of New York s Safe Place to Work laws, that worker may pursue a third party lawsuit and seek damages for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. to Work Laws New York Labor Law 200 requires property owners and contractors to fix hazardous conditions and ensure safe work practices. This includes maintaining and storing all equipment to provide adequate protection for workers. The law protects both employees and people who frequently visit job sites. regulations for many hazards faced by construction, demolition, and excavation workers. These include slipping and tripping hazards, injury from falling objects or hazardous openings, material storage and handling, demolition and disposal of debris, and more. Any violation of these laws is a serious matter. Many things that you might not feel are dangerous may actually be legally improper on a construction site. To protect your rights, any injury on a construction site, no matter how small, should be immediately reported to your supervisors and investigated by an attorney from Dolce Panepinto. When an employer, owner, or contractor violates one of these Safe Place to Work laws, Dolce Panepinto works tirelessly to hold them responsible. If you or a member of your family were hurt on the job, contact us today at for a free case evaluation. New York Labor Law 240, also known as the Scaffold Law, is a pillar of workplace safety in the state of New York and covers workers who work at dangerous heights or are at risk of injury from falling objects. The Scaffold Law requires property owners, contractors, and employers to provide proper ladders, scaffolds, harnesses, and other equipment. The law holds owners, contractors, and employers responsible for injuries which result from improper or malfunctioning equipment. New York Labor Law 241 requires owners and contractors to comply with the New York State Department of Labor s Industrial Code, which sets safety

6 Dolce Panepinto Recovers for Injured Clients Since Beginning of 2015 The Dolce Panepinto team has fought for and recovered more than $8.5 Million for our injured clients in the first quarter of More than $5.75 Million was recovered for injured construction workers. Construction workers in New York State have special rights and are protected by tough safety laws. Owners and general contractors are mandated to provide a safe place to work. We have a familiarity with job sites and an ability to litigate construction cases that other law firms simply do not have and the results to prove it. Partner Marc Panepinto and his brother, attorney Donald Panepinto, are both second generation members of Laborers Local 210 and spent years working on job sites. Marc Panepinto also spent years traveling the country successfully organizing for the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA). Partner Frank Dolce, a former UAW Local 774 member, is a founding member of the Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health (WNYCOSH), and has a long track record of fighting for workers rights. If you or a family member are injured, contact us today at for a free case evaluation. Here are a few of the Litigation Highlights this year: A $3.72 Million settlement was reached on behalf of an injured union carpenter. Our client was working on a new build when he fell down an unenclosed flight of stairs that was slick with a combination of rain water and fireproofing materials. He suffered herniated disks in his back as a result of the fall. A $1.275 Million settlement was reached on behalf of an injured plasterer who was injured in a fall on a job site. Our client suffered a series of neck and back injuries which require ongoing medical treatment. A $875,000 settlement was reached on behalf of a Maintenance Worker who was performing a repair on very large piece of machinery when he slipped and fell down a set of metal stairs attached to the machine. Our client suffered a torn rotator cuff. A $792,000 settlement was reached on behalf of a construction worker who was installing new signage when the scaffold on which he was standing collapsed suddenly. Our client suffered injuries to his upper back, shoulder, and both wrists.

7 Center for Medicine of Western New York Opens The Center for Occupational Health and Environmental Medicine of Western New York has recently opened in affiliation with the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC). Occupational and Environmental Medicine is devoted to the prevention and management of occupational and environmental injury, illness, and disability. The Center is home to a full-time Occupational Medicine Doctor and is designed to assist workers who have been injured on the job or who are suffering from an occupation related illness. Partner Frank Dolce, a longtime advocate of workers rights and a founding member of the Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health (WNYCOSH), is a member of the Center s Advisory Board and played a role in securing funding from the New York State Department of Health. He explained the important role that the new center will play in the lives of Western New York s workers. Occupational Health Doctors see injured workers on a daily basis and have training and experience in treating workplace related medical conditions that other physicians do not. The Center also accepts Workers Compensation insurance, assuring that no injured or sick worker will be turned away. If you need medical assistance because of an injury you sustained on the job or believe that you are suffering from a job-related illness or disability, you should contact the Center for Occupational Health and Environmental Medicine of Western New York today. The Center is located on the first floor of ECMC and can be reached at In the past, if you got injured on the job, you would go to the emergency room for a minimal amount of acute treatment and would then get sent on to your primary care physician who almost always refuses to take Workers Compensation insurance. Said Dolce. Now, with the creation of the Occupational Health Center, if you get hurt, you have a place to go with a physician who is trained specifically to recognize and treat occupational causes of medical issues. It s a huge win for workers! If you are injured at work, do not hesitate to contact Dolce Panepinto at for a

8 P: dolcepanepinto.com. F: First Responders Appreciation Party Dolce Panepinto will be hosting a First Responders Appreciation Party as an acknowledgement of your important work and a thank you for your service. Firefighters, EMTs, Police Officers, and first responders of all types are invited to attend. There will be food, drinks, and lots of fun. Please RSVP by Friday, June 5, to or call Words of Appreciation from Clients: When you or a love one is injured, we want you to focus on your health while we handle the various bureaucracies and insurance companies involved in your case. That is why we use a team approach that allows us to handle all of your injury related claims under one roof. We approach cases as a team because our clients frequently have several types of claims being handled simultaneously, explained Partner Sean Cooney, Our goal is to maximize the amount of money recovered for our clients and we know that handling the various aspects of their case as a team is the best way to do that. A key part of our team approach is to treat our clients with the dignity and respect you deserve. Dolce Panepinto is not a stereotypical law firm. We are approachable and are always here to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have. We strive to make sure each client has a firm understanding of their legal matter so you can rest assured that we are working tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family. If it weren t for Dolce Panepinto, I would still be fighting to have my surgery approved. My previous lawyer accomplished nothing in three years. It took Dolce Panepinto two hearings and my surgery was approved. I would recommend them for any of your legal matters. Lewis A. You have a great staff and I would recommend you to everybody. You guys are more than just lawyers; you care about your clients. Peter B. I work as a utility pole contractor and Sean Cooney took care of me a couple years ago when I had my accident. He was awesome and gave me his best. Thank you! Rob M. Your firm has sure made a difference for myself and my family. Your great lawyers got me motivated again. They are sympathetic and give the perfect advice. Hooray for Dolce Panepinto! Susan B. FRANK J. DOLCE MARC C. PANEPINTO SEAN E. COONEY EDWARD L. SMITH, III ANNE M. WHEELER JONATHAN M. GORSKI PHILLIP V. URBAN COLLEEN M. MALCHOW HOLLY L. SCHOENBORN DONALD M. PANEPINTO GARY R. EBERSOLE JEREMY M. SCHNURR ANN M. NICHOLS SAMUEL P. DAVIS JOHN B. LICATA

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