Kunkel Law Firm - October 2018

OCTOBER 2018 KunkelCase Files 800-467-5272 • www.KunkelLawFirm.com • GKunkel@KunkelLawFirm.com


Gregory Kunkel, Esq.

Most states enacted workers’ compensation laws in the early 20th century as a means to humanely compensate workers who were injured in the course of their employment. Many workers, however, continue to fall through the cracks of the system. I recently watched a televised interview with Amazon employee Vickie Shannon Allen who injured her back while working at an Amazon fulfillment warehouse. Ms. Allen reported that Amazon initially refused to permit her to continue working because she was unable to reach with her right arm due to the work injury. She attended physical therapy only to re-injure herself when she attempted to return to work. Ms. Allen turned down a small settlement offer and, after months of no income due to her injury, Ms. Allen is now living out of her car and speaking out against how Amazon treats injured workers. The best advice I can offer to avoid the dire situation described by Ms. Allen is to contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer as

apples bats & chicken feed Secret Origins of Halloween Traditions

What’s scarier than being at a Halloween party without a good costume? Being at a Halloween party without anything interesting to add, of course! Avoid this nightmare scenario by learning the fascinating history behind everyone’s favorite Halloween traditions.


Halloween decorations tend to rely on scary or supernatural themes. Cobwebs, skeletons, and ghosts crowd the scene, but there are usually a few bats in there as well. Compared to jangling skeletons, these little mammals aren’t that scary. While bats do risk carrying rabies, for the most part, bats are more likely to help people by eating mosquitoes than harm anyone. So why are they part of our creepy Halloween decor? Bats were associated with Halloween long before the first trick-or-treaters. When celebrating the ancient festival Samhain — a precursor to Halloween — the Celts lit huge bonfires. These fires attracted insects, which in turn attracted bats looking for a midnight snack. Bats came to be linked to Samhain and that tradition was carried into modern Halloween. Giving out apples instead of candy is a surefire way to get your house egged by angry trick- or-treaters. On a night that’s all about candy and sweets, how did we come to play a game involving fruit? Surprisingly, the old game of bobbing for apples has roots in some more romantic traditions. Bobbing for apples was part fortune-telling game and part courting ritual in 18th-century England. A young woman would write the name of her suitor on an apple and put it in a basin of water. If she could grab the apple in one bite, it meant that she and her suitor were WHAT’S UPWITH BOBBING FOR APPLES?

soon as possible if you are injured on the job.


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... Cover story, continued

This candy was meant to appeal to America’s rural communities. Though not initially linked to fall, chicken feed candy was difficult to make and therefore only available between March and November. The scarcity added to its early popularity. In the 1900s, candy makers had to turn down orders because demand was so high! Chicken feed would eventually become candy corn and be cast as the ultimate Halloween candy after WorldWar II. In 1951, Goelitz Confectionery Company — today known as the Jelly Belly Candy Company — had 12 factories making candy corn across the country! Since then, candy corn has made its way into trick-or-treat bags every Halloween.

States by Irish immigrants in the early 20th century, trick-or-treating quickly became a favorite Halloween activity. However, when sugar was rationed during WorldWar II, trick- or-treating started to die out. You can thank Charles Schulz andWalt Disney for keeping the tradition alive. In 1951, Schulz created a series of Halloween- themed comic strips featuring the Peanuts gang dressed as ghosts and trick-or-treating. The following year, Disney produced an animated short featuring Donald Duck and his nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, engaged in Halloween hijinks. Both the Peanuts strips and the Donald Duck shorts were incredibly popular, and these Halloween specials showed kids across the country the fun of trick-or-treating. When you think about it, Halloween is a pretty weird holiday. But isn’t the weirdness part of the fun?

destined for true love. Two tries meant their love would fade with time. And three or more bites was a sign that the relationship was doomed. Another version of the game was more of a competition. The first person to bite into an apple would be the first to get married. It wasn’t unlike catching the bride’s bouquet at a wedding. Some people adore this sweet mellowcreme treat, while others insist the divisive candy is little more than colored wax. Whatever camp you find yourself in, you may be interested to know that candy corn was not originally created for Halloween. Developed by George Renninger of the Wunderlee Candy Company in Philadelphia, these little tricolored candies were introduced to the world as “chicken feed” in the 1880s. WHY DOWE CARE ABOUT CANDY CORN?


While trick-or-treating has its roots in ancient traditions that involve scaring away ghosts and praying for lost souls, modern trick-or- treating owes its existence to a more familiar source. After being brought to the United

Stay weird, and have a happy Halloween!


3 Meaningful Ways to Support Recovery

If you’ve ever had a friend or loved one suffer a debilitating injury, you know how powerless you can feel to help. You want to make a difference, but in the face of severe medical challenges, it can be hard to know how. It’s important to remember that, while you may not be able to have a direct impact on your loved one’s physical recovery, there are concrete actions you can take to support them in ways doctors can’t.

or preparing a home-cooked meal can give that person a much-needed breather. Taking the time to help your friend with everyday tasks is more than just a practical gesture — it lets them know they don’t have to bear the burden of their injury alone.

through makes a world of difference. Having someone who is willing to listen without judgment can provide a salve for emotional hardship.



Sometimes an injury can leave your loved one tangled up in disputes with opportunistic insurance companies or individuals they feel are responsible for their injuries. While you may not be able to represent your friend’s legal interests in these situations, you can introduce them to someone who can. Referring your friend to a personal injury firm you trust can help them chart a path toward just compensation for their injuries.

People faced with injuries, disabilities, and illnesses can feel emotionally isolated from their friends and loved ones. They may feel that others won’t understand their pain or that they should put on a brave face and not complain. You can’t force your friend to talk about their issues, but simply being there to listen to what your friend is going


Traumatic injuries can make many aspects of day-to-day life difficult or impossible. Simply making dinner or taking their kids to school may now be herculean tasks for your loved one. Offering to be a volunteer driver

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Even the Most Frightening Ghouls Need to Be Careful


Happy Halloween, you goblins, ghouls, witches, and spooks!

Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween without costumes! They should be fun, but you can also make them safer by following a few simple guidelines. Add reflective tape to candy bags and costumes and wear light colors to stand out in the dark. Buying or making the right-sized costumes is also important. If they’re too large, they create a tripping hazard, and if they’re too tight, they can restrict movement. If your child wears a mask, make sure they can see out of it properly. Before heading out to trick or treat, create a plan and discuss it with every member of your family. This ensures that if someone in your group wanders off, they’ll know where to look for you or where to go. In case you’re separated, label your child’s costume with your name, address, and phone number. If your children are old enough to trick or treat without adults, make sure that their cellphones are charged and on them at all times, and schedule regular check-ins. MAKE A PLAN

It’s that time of year again when kids and adults alike can dress up and roam the streets as their favorite heroes, frights, or princesses. While kids are eager to show off their outfits and fill their pillowcases with sugary treasures, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential dangers on Halloween night.


Make sure your kids understand basic road safety. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, “Children are more likely to be struck by a vehicle and killed during Halloween than any other day of the year.” Before heading out for some good old-fashioned trick-or-treating, take the time to go over basic safety tips. Teach kids to look both ways before crossing, use crosswalks and traffic signals, cross streets on the corners, and never run across the street. Making eye contact with drivers before walking in front of their cars is also a good way to make sure the driver knows the child is there.

Take a Break!




1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds

1 large egg white

1 teaspoon light agave syrup

1/4 cup raw cashews, coarsely chopped 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon garam masala or curry powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds

Nonstick vegetable oil spray


4. Using a slotted spoon, strain spoonfuls of mixture over bowl and transfer to baking sheet. Discard excess egg white mixture.

1. Heat oven to 300 F.

2. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

3. In a mixing bowl, whisk

together egg white, agave, salt, and spices. Add nuts and seeds and toss until evenly coated.

5. Bake 20–25 minutes, tossing once.

6. Let cool and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Bon Appétit magazine

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One Oxford Centre, 301 Grant Street, Suite 4300 Pittsburgh, PA 15219

INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Gregory Kunkel, Esq. PAGE 1 Secret Origins of Halloween Traditions PAGE 1 Ways to Support a Recovering Loved One PAGE 2 Trick-or-Treating Safety PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Spiced Pumpkin Seed Crunch PAGE 3 The Surprising Origins of Trick-or-Treating PAGE 4

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The History of Trick-or-Treating

tearing through town begging for food and money and singing a song or prayer in return — a practice called “souling.” But when did they start dressing up as Minions? Starting in the 19th century, souling turned to “guising,” which gave way to trick-or-treating in mid-20th-century America, and the costumes diversified. So put on some clown makeup and a big smile, scoop up a handful of sweets, and scare the living daylights out of ‘em — ‘tis the season!

the end of our summer; and the Catholic All Saint’s Day, designed to replace Samuin and divorce it from its pagan origins. Long before there were young’uns on your porch dressed as Thanos with candy-filled pillowcases in hand, the Celts believed that Samuin marked an overlapping of the realms of the living and the dead. To trick the spirits leaking into our world, young men donned flowing white costumes and black masks — a great disguise when ghosts were about. The Catholic Church was never a big fan of these pagan traditions, so they renamed it “All Saints’ Day” and gussied it up in religious garb. By the 11th century, people were dressing up as saints, angels, and the occasional demon instead of spirits. Eventually, costumed children started

As Halloween looms and you load up your grocery cart with candy, you may ask yourself, “Why do I

provide these spooky gremlins with a sugar high every Oct. 31, anyway?”Well, when your doorbell starts ringing around 6 p.m. this All Hallows’ Eve, you can thank the Celts for this tradition of candy and costumes.

Halloween itself is a kind of mishmash of four different cultural festivals of old: two Roman fêtes, which commemorated the dead and the goddess of fruit and trees (not at the same time); the Celtic Samuin or Samhain, a new year’s party thrown at

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