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Legislature's Plenary Power Trumps Constitutional Attacks As Court Upholds IMR Process

A second district of the California Court of Appeal has now upheld utilization review (UR) and independent medical review (IMR) as constitutional means to manage medical treatment in California's workers' compensation system....more

When Does Permissible Communication Become Impermissible Information In AME Contacts?

On January 23, 2017, the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board issued its first en banc decision since April 2016. In Bradley Maxham v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, ADJ3540065, the Board clarifies...more

Lien Claimants Ring in New Year With Blizzard of Declarations Under 2017 Legislation

In September 2016, Governor Brown signed SB 1160. This bill is intended to streamline emergency medical services and treatment for accepted industrial injuries. To offset the expected costs of less control over early...more

A Workers’ Compensation Double Play: Governor Signs SB 1160 and AB 1244 To Squeeze Out More System Costs

SB 1160, introduced by Senator Mendoza and signed into law September 30, 2016, amends several Labor Code sections affecting authorized medical treatment, utilization review, and lien litigation. Its principal achievement is...more

When “Shall” Means “Should” – Court of Appeal Defines IMR Reporting Obligation

In 2004 and 2012 the California Legislature enacted reforms to streamline the medical treatment approval process for workers' compensation claims. The most significant of the 2012 reforms was California Senate Bill 863, which...more

CIGA Avoids C&R Lien Obligation At Expense of Co-Defendant

On March 22, 2016, the Second District Court of Appeal, Division One, published its opinion in California Insurance Guarantee Assn. v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd., No. B263869, Cal.App.4th, in which it determined that the WCAB...more

California Court Of Appeal Issues A Utilization Review Determination To Watch

The Fourth Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal issued its determination in a dispute over utilization review in its opinion of January 5, 2016, Kirk King et al. v. CompPartners, Inc. et al, 2016 S. O. S. In...more

Court Blocks Attempt to Circumvent the Med-Legal Process

On October 28, 2015, the Second District Court of Appeal, Division Six, published its opinion in Margaret Batten v. Long Beach Memorial Hospital, B260916, in which it determined that a self-procured medical-legal report...more

Court Crushes Constitutional Challenge To Independent Medical Review

In Frances Stevens v. Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, Outspoken Enterprises, Case: A143043 1st District, Division 1, the California Court of Appeal upheld the constitutionality of California Labor Code Section 4610.6...more

California Court of Appeal Reaffirms Hurdles to Overcoming Rating Presumption

In Contra Cost County v. Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, and Dahl, Case No. A141046 [WCAB No. ADJ1310387], filed September 24, 2015, the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, annulled a Workers’...more

9th Circuit Throws Lifebuoy to California Drowning In Workers’ Compensation Liens

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit resuscitated a contentious provision of California’s SB 863. In a unanimous decision on June 29, 2015, the court in Angelotti Chiropractic, Inc. v. Christine Baker, et...more

7/3/2015  /  Appeals , Due Process , Liens

Court Issues Cautionary Edict to Users of Misclassified Workers

On June 1, 2015, the California Court of Appeal (Second Appellate District) in Noe v. Superior Court of Los Angeles (Levy) (Case No. B259570) extended the scope of liability under California Labor Code section 226.8....more

Court Does Procedural/Substantive Two-Step in Lozano

On May 13, 2015, the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, opined in Cynthia Lozano v. WCAB (B258000) that a 2009 amendment to Labor Code section 3212.1 may be applied retroactively to an injurious exposure which...more

California Supreme Court Lowers The AOE/COE Hurdle In Workers’ Compensation

In South Coast Framing, Inc. v. WCAB, Jovelyn Clark, S215637, May 28, 2015, the California Supreme Court clarified a claimant’s burden of proof in obtaining workers’ compensation benefits. In brief, a claimant meets the...more

Inability to Work Under One Boss Is Not a Qualified Disability

In Higgins-Williams v. Sutter Medical Foundation, the Third Appellate District relied upon the repeatedly challenged holding of the First Appellate District in Hobson v. Raychem Corp. (1999) 73 Cal.App.4th 614 (“Hobson”) that...more

Due Process Requires the Right to Cross-Examine a Workers' Compensation Applicant

On January 29, 2015, the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, ordered the publication of Ogden Entertainment Services v. WCAB (Ritzhoff), (B254082), previously a non-certified opinion that issued on December 31, 2014....more

Client Alert: Premises Liability Claim Brought by Correctional Officer Not Precluded by Workers’ Compensation Law

In Wright v. State of California (No. A139034, filed 1/30/2015) the First District Court of Appeal held a state correctional officer, who lived on state owned property adjacent to his place of employment, was not precluded,...more

Workers' Comp. Alert: Going And Coming Rule Again Narrowed

The California Court of Appeal addressed the scope of the Going And Coming Rule in its decision, Craig Schultz v. WCAB and Joint Test Tactics and Training (JT3), 2015 S.O.S. 99, January 6, 2015....more

Workers' Comp. Alert: WCAB Significant Panel Decision Emphasizes Timeliness For A Valid UR Decision

On November 20, 2014, the WCAB issued Bodam v. San Bernardino County/Department of Social Services, and declared it to be A Significant Panel Decision, which means it is citable before the board, but is not persuasive...more

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