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Medical Marijuana, Workers’ Comp & 84 Lumber

84 Lumber Company – The Commercial

For those readers that saw this year’s Super Bowl, I’m sure you enjoyed a game that will be talked about for years to come. In addition to the classic comeback by New England, many people have also been talking about one of the commercials that aired during the game. The commercial from 84 Lumber Company was certainly one that got a lot of attention, and in this writer’s opinion, was the top commercial from the game.

For those that missed the 84 Lumber Super Bowl commercial, the full version is below (note only the first 1:30 aired during the game).

 

84 Lumber was also in the news recently here in New Jersey for something different and that is the topic of today’s blog….

84 Lumber, Workers’ Comp, Medical Marijuana and a New Jersey Worker

A New Jersey man that was injured while working for 84 Lumber will have his medical marijuana paid for by his employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. This was the ruling issued by a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Judge, in what appears to be the first decision of its kind in our state according to nj.com.

The 84 Lumber worker first suffered a hand injury while working for one of the company’s New Jersey locations back in 2008. In 2012, he was awarded a settlement covering his hand injury. At the time of the 2012 settlement, the worker was receiving prescriptions for a number of painkillers, including Oxycodone tablets and lidocaine patches. However, when these medications were not relieving his pain, the worker was referred to another doctor.

This new doctor that the worker was referred to was licensed to prescribe medical marijuana. He diagnosed the worker with neuropathic and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) of the left hand. This doctor thought that the injured worker would be an ideal candidate for medical marijuana since the treatment has proven successful for neuropathic pain.

Has a new precedent now been established when it comes to New Jersey workers’ compensation law?

This is certainly the question being asked by New Jersey employers, New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers, workers’ comp insurance companies, and of course, the state’s workers. The short answer is that time will tell, but here’s a few bullet points related to the subject (we find that readers appreciate bullet points) :

  • The recent decision is not necessarily binding on other courts because it is a Division level court decision. However, it will be carefully studied by other judges around New Jersey since there are so few decisions when it comes to medical marijuana for workers’ comp treatment.
  • from the judge’s ruling “the effects of the marijuana, in many ways, is not as debilitating as the effects of the Percocet. The pharmacy records show that, ultimately (Watson) was able to reduce his use of oral narcotic medication.” With the nation’s painkiller epidemic, this part of the decision is critical as alternatives to narcotic medications will certainly be getting a closer look in the coming years.
  • The price of one ounce of medical marijuana ranges from $425 to $520 for an average of $489 in New Jersey (plus sale’s tax).  At those prices, New Jersey’s medical pot is the most expensive in the nation. (NJ State Health Dept.) Without payment through workers’ comp insurance, it is unlikely that many New Jersey workers will find this treatment affordable.

Stay tuned for future updates here on our blog.

Elizabeth, New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

Our workers’ comp lawyers give personal attention to all of our clients. If you or a loved one has been injured while working , call us today at 908-352-2323 or send us email by clicking here to evaluate your case.

Our workers’ compensation lawyers serve clients throughout New Jersey, including the cities of Newark, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Hackensack, and Morris, Bergen, Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties. Our New Jersey Lawyers have offices in Elizabeth, New Jersey and New York City.

At Mintz & Geftic, WE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU!

Sources:

NJ.com

Philly.com

Mintz & Geftic, LLC

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