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August 14, 2008

Re "Adding insult to a quake injury," Column, Aug. 10

Steve Lopez's heart is in the right place, but he's on the wrong issue with regard to the day laborer injured by falling off the roof during an earthquake. This is not a matter of a lack of national health insurance. This man should have been insured by his employer for workplace injury under the workers' compensation system. It's the law.

Lowlife, fly-by-night contractors and the penny-pinching homeowners who hire them put their employees (yes, day laborers are employees) and their families at risk, put a burden on emergency rooms and compete unfairly with responsible contractors.

Homeowners should know that they may be liable for injuries to uninsured workers injured on their property. Go to the Contractors State License Board website, www.cslb.ca.gov, to verify license status and insurance coverage before hiring any contractor.

Chris Taber

Palm Springs

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