Ms. Sharp is a summer intern with our firm, currently attending North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC. She is pursuing her Juris Doctorate and Masters in Public Administration (Dual Degree Candidate). We welcome her and encourage her professional development, gaining the necessary skills to pursue her future career.
Apportionment in California Workers' Compensation is posed for a dramatic change as Senate Bill 731 (SB 731) gains momentum in the California legislature. If enacted into law, SB 731 would prohibit apportionment of permanent disability based on race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, marital status, sex, sexual identity, sexual orientation, or genetic characteristics.
Currently, the law requires apportionment of the causation of the worker's permanent disability. According to Cal. Lab. Code §4663, a physician is required to determine all of the causative sources of the worker's permanent disability. Apportionment mu...
Applicant Attorneys are returning from CAAA with the same theme discussed for years. The difference this year is to apply different tactics to accomplish their goal; schedule an AME of their choosing. Although the use of AME's has diminished, Applicant Attorneys still pursue choosing a doctor they prefer.
Here are some examples I've seen this past year:
Carpal tunnel injury? Applicant Attorney wants an Internist (MMM) when it's obvious Hand (MHH) or Ortho (MOS) would be best.
Ankle sprain? Applicant Attorney wants Pain Management (MPA) when Ortho (MOS), Podiatry (POD), or even Physical Rehab (MPR) would be better.
Knee injury? Applicant Attorneys wants a Chiropractor (DCH).
Is there anything defendants can do to mitigate their efforts?
In Caggiano v. County of Monterey (2018 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 230), the applicant requested a panel in pain management. The defendant requested a...
Okay, so this isn't a story about good and evil. I needed a good title to draw you in and get you to read about a case you really should know about. However, it is a cautionary tale and you should keep this case in the back of your mind anytime you have a cumulative trauma case involving multiple defendants.
In Ventura v. Dana Point Cleaners (2019 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 114), the applicant filed a cumulative trauma claim involving two separate insurance carriers. The applicant entered into a compromise and release agreement (C&R) with one of the carriers (Wasco). The second carrier (Zenith) had not been joined before the C&R was finalized and was not a party to the settlement. In the settlement documents, Wasco reserved their rights to contribution from Zenith.
The Santa Ana Workers' Compensation Appeals Board, will operate from their new location on Monday, April 29, 2019:
Santa Ana WCAB
2 MacArthur Place, Suite 600
Santa Ana, CA 92707
Our Santa Ana office is conveniently located to the Santa Ana WCAB office. Please reach out to our firm if you have any questions or if we may assist you in any way. Click link to view notice regarding the Santa Ana WCAB location move.
I begin this article with a brief history lesson. In 1996, Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, was approved by 65% of the voters in California. The Proposition legalized the use, possession and cultivation of cannabis by patients with a physician's recommendation.
The initiative was criticized for its lack of structure. Consequently, in January of 2003, SB 420 was passed which established an identification card system for medical cannabis patients. The medical cannabis was to be used for treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, glaucoma, arthritis, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.
In the workers' compensation arena, there was concern that a plethora of cases would spring up involving the use of medical marijuana for treatment and/or future med...
Certified Specialist, Workers' Compensation Law, The State Bar of California,
Board of Legal Specialization
If you haven't felt the pain non-IBR litigation, you are in for a treat.
Imagine a world where someone performs a service without your consent or even necessarily a need to do it, and then bills you for the service. On top of that, imagine you tell this person you never wanted the service and you give them a list of all the reasons why you do not owe them anything. In response, you receive a bill for 10 times the original amount and an order from a judge to pay. Crazy, right? Well, welcome to the world of non-IBR med-legal litigation.
In my experience, the most frequent situations involving non-IBR litigation deal with copy services. Keep in mind, this article deals with situations where Independent Bill Review (IBR) is not an option. Where the correct amount to pay is the only issue, IBR is the option and you...
Mr. Smith was born in Pomona, California. He received his B.A from California State University Fullerton in 2013, and his Juris Doctorate from the University of La Verne College of Law in 2017. He is currently enrolled in the Master of Business and Public Management program at the University of La Verne. He was admitted to the California State Bar in 2017 and to the United States District Court Central District of California in 2017.
Mr. Smith's legal expertise and experience are complimented by his workers’ compensation claims history, all of which offer our firm and clients a wide variety of skills and knowledge for quick and efficient claim resolution. He has advised, litigated and settled workers’ compensation claims including alleged violations of anti-discrimination laws under FEHA, EEOC and California Labor Code 132(a) and has subrogation experience. He is an active member of the Richard T. Fields Bar Association, has served as a Student Ambassador Representative...
Often times, our attorneys are asked broad questions as they pertain to the workers' compensation field. Why not share this insight with everyone?
"Do I have to pay TTD for medical appointments when the employee is working?"
Scott M. Tilley, Esq.:
"The short answer is, no. The answer has to do with wage loss. See, TTD is paid as wage loss. If an applicant has returned to work as MMI or because you are accommodating work restrictions, there is no wage loss. If you need some case law to back up this position, then see Ward v. WCAB (69 CCC 1179) (a copy can be found at our web site). The bottom line is an applicant is not entitled to TTD for medical appointments if they have returned to work. "
It is our pleasure to announce, Ross C. Irwin will be inducted into The Greater Inland Empire Chapter - Hall of Fame on October 11, 2018 . The "evening is dedicated to honor members of the workers' compensation community who have been committed to fighting tirelessly for the betterment of California's injured workers."
Mr. Irwin's 50 years of service with our firm helped build the strong foundation and excellent reputation we are known for today. He is known for his thorough legal services, well-respected character and positive nature. We congratulate him for this recognition of his hard work, dedication and innovative legal contributions over the years.
Each of our f ounding members, Robert L. Dally (inducted 2014), John F. Parker (inducted 2014) and Ross C. Irwin (induction 2018) have been recognized by The Greater Inland Empire Hall of Fame for their contributions to the workers' compensation industry. Today, our firm continues to expand and g...
I recently had a trial at the Riverside WCAB. The applicant was without transportation and was coming in from Compton, California. During the morning session, the applicant's attorney told me the applicant would be taking public transportation including a bus and the MetroLink train. The applicant's estimated time of arrival was 1:00 PM. The trial had been set for 8:30 AM. The parties had some distance between the demand for settlement and the offer. My client had a good case and was sticking to their offer amount. There was an attempt by the judge to have the parties split the difference but we said no thank you.
Over the course of the morning, the applicant was in contact with her client. By the time the applicant's train was arriving in Riverside, it became apparent that if we were to go fo...
A legislative result of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting which took place in Las Vegas, Nevada, is the AB 1749 which was proposed Assemblyman Tom Daly (D-Anaheim), Chairman of the Assembly Insurance Committee. California Governor, Jerry Brown, passed this bill on September 23, 2018. This bill allows California peace officers to receive California workers' compensation benefits if they were injured or killed out-of-state in the line of duty.
You might recall the King case from our case law update of several years ago. It was a BIG DEAL. We worried as we told you the decision and we wondered what impact it might have on our workers' compensation system. Well, the California Supreme Court has chimed in and the end of the world has been averted.
As you might recall, Mr. Kirk King was an applicant whose medication (Klonopin) was non-certified by utilization review. The medication was abruptly cut off (no weaning) and Mr. King suffered serious ramifications including four seizures. Mr. King and his wife both filed suit in superior court against the UR vendor, CompPartners, and the UR doctor, Dr. Sharma. The Kings claimed negligence, professional negligence, loss of consortium and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional di...
Certified Specialist, Workers' Compensation Law, The State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization
Labor Code §4610 provides the ground rules for the Utilization Review (UR) process. This section first appeared in the Labor Code in 2003.
Labor Code §4610(i)(1) deals with the timeframe for issuing prospective or concurrent decisions to certify or deny recommended medical treatment. The decision shall be made in a timely fashion as appropriate for the nature of the employee's condition, not to exceed five (5) working days from the receipt of a Request for Authorization for Medical Treatment and supporting information reasonably necessary to make the determination, but in no event more than 14 days from the date of the medical treatment recommendation by the physician.
Since 2003, the term “working days" was interpreted as Monday through Friday, with Saturday and Sunday excluded. Thus, if a Request for A...