From the Desk Of:
Bruce A. Little
Needless to say, the current pandemic has caused a number of changes at the WCAB, and one of those is a delay in receiving decisions from the Appeals Board on Petitions for Reconsideration. I completed a 4-day trial in a psychiatric case almost 18 months ago on 2/6/20, with the judge issuing a decision in May 2020 that the applicant did not sustain a work-related injury and the defendant’s actions were all protected by a lawful, good faith, personnel action defense. Applicant’s counsel filed a Petition for Reconsideration which was granted on 7/6/20, with the commissioners stating that they would need more time to study each and every action taken by the defendant before they could reach a decision. Now, more than a year later, a decision has still not been reached. However, the WCAB did issue a statement in January 2021 discussing the backlog of cases it faced. The WCAB said that 60% of the cases are with them for less than 1 year, 33% are with them for 1 to 2 years, and 7% have been with them for 2 years or more. I predict the long wait, in this case, will be well worth the result.