By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
The school board for the Picayune Municipal Separate School District board was informed their workman’s compensation coverage premiums have increased by $50,000 due to an increase in claim pay outs.
District Finance Director Lisa Penton presented the school board with the update on the premium amount, saying in 2011 there was an increase in workmen’s compensation claims, including two claims submitted for incidents that occurred off of Picayune school district campuses.
One involved a teacher being bumped by a disgruntled driver while chaperoning students on a trip in Hattiesburg, and the second involved a teacher becoming excited and injuring her knee while jumping around on a stage during a trip in California, Penton said. When asked why the driver’s insurance did not cover the injury in the Hattiesburg incident, Penton said the insurance adjuster met with the owner of the tag number recorded on scene, but that person denied any involvement in the incident. In addition, the adjuster failed to continue the investigation into the details of the incident until almost a year later, and by that time the students who witnessed the incident could not confirm the tag number with the one recorded at the time of the incident.
Of all of the claims submitted in the past two years about 55 percent of them were made by district employees on the “school level”, Penton said. Typically, most workmen’s compensation claims come from employees in the custodial, maintenance or grounds department, not employees on the “school level”, she said.
Penton said she called around for cheaper rates but the number of recent claims made by the district limited the number of companies that would offer coverage.
To help reduce the number of claims Penton said she will enforce a new rule making safety meetings with district staff and Wellness Works mandatory.
The board approved a motion to move forward with the quote provided.
Bids were received from three people in the community to purchase a home at 100 Carver Drive, which is on 16th section land. The quotes were for $1,000 made by Thompson Investments and Construction, $5,000 made by Charlene Arnold and $6,010 made by Delores Bridges. Penton said the home needs a new roof among other renovation work.
The board approved a motion to accept the highest bid made by Bridges for $6,010.