Date: 10/16/2009

Public Testimony Continued


Votes: View--> Action Taken:

01:30 PM -- Public Testimony Continued

Senator Carroll explained that the committee would be finishing witness testimony.

01:31 PM --
Phil Hayes, representing the Colorado AFL-CIO, testified on the draft legislation. He said they support bills 1, 3, 4, 11, 12, 13, and 14. Mr. Hayes commented on the drafts and the importance of transparency. Mr. Hayes addressed the business community's previous testimony. Mr. Hayes talked about the amount of time it takes to settle a workers' compensation claim and the effects that has on the injured worker. He gave some examples of injured workers who have been under surveillance following a workers' compensation claim. Mr. Hayes said he feels the bill that addresses that issue is wise.

01:41 PM --
Paula Rhodes, representing herself, stated that her claim was not handled by Pinnacol Assurance. She talked about some of the bills, including the information that is sent to claimants, issues she has had in court with her claim, and surveillance.

01:51 PM --
Kelly Campbell deferred her testimony.

01:52 PM --
Shelley Dodge, a claimant attorney, testified in favor of any legislation that creates transparency in the system. She suggested an amendment to Bill 1 regarding worker protection for retaliation. Ms. Dodge addressed Bill 14 and said that there is information available for claimants, but people need to know where to obtain it. She talked about the complexities of the Workers' Compensation Act that injured workers are supposed to know. Ms. Dodge pointed out some provisions of the bill. She noted the difficulty for claimants, as well as others, to locate important details and legalities contained in workers' compensation guidelines. She discussed the lack of penalty range increases, that penalties have not increased over time. In addition, the problems and difficulties that have been discussed by claimants occur on a regular basis. Ms. Dodge responded to questions from the committee regarding the injured worker that testified before lunch.

02:10 PM --
James Simmons, representing himself as an injured worker who is currently in the process, testified in support of bills 1, 3, 4, 11, 13, and 14. Mr. Simmons stated that he is not covered under Pinnacol Assurance. He talked about stories he has heard from other injured workers and issues with his doctor about requesting an MRI. Mr. Simmons addressed the surveillance issue and talked about Bill 14. Senator Mitchell commented on the surveillance issue. Mr. Simmons commented on Senator Mitchell's comments. Dr. Parry talked about her experiences reviewing medical surveillance videos. Senator Mitchell responded.