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MD - Worker Fails to Prove Occupational Disease, Accidental Injury From Chemical Exposure

06/20/2024 | 0

The Maryland Appellate Court upheld the denial of a worker’s claim of occupational disease and accidental injury from his alleged chemical exposure. Robert Butler worked as a driver for Velocity Rail Solutions. He allegedly was injured by inhaling chemical fumes in his Velocity work truck in February 2019. Butler asserted that there was a leak in the antifreeze reservoir that caused him to breathe smoke from a vent, which made him pass out. After this incident, he sought medical treatment. Butler reported having fatigue, cold symptoms and chills, but he did not report any workpla... Read More

AZ - Court Upholds Denial of Worker's Request to Reopen Car Accident Claim

06/20/2024 | 0

The Arizona Court of Appeals upheld the denial of a worker’s request to reopen his claim arising out of a car accident. Case: Parr v. Industrial Commission, No. 1 CA-IC 23-0018, 06/04/2024, unpublished. Facts: Larry Parr worked for United Civil Group. In February 2015, a tire blew out on Parr’s work vehicle, causing it to spin, flip and roll while going approximately 80 miles per hour. Parr suffered multiple injuries. Parr received medical treatment and psychiatric care through United’s insurance carrier. The carrier closed his claim without a permanent impa... Read More

KY - Supreme Court Says TTD Award Not Immediately Appealable

06/20/2024 | 0

The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that an administrative law judge’s order awarding temporary total disability benefits to an injured worker was interlocutory and not appealable. Case: Spencer County Fiscal Court v. Day, No. 2023-SC-0120-WC, 06/13/2024, unpublished. Facts: In December 2019, Gary Day suffered a bilateral shoulder injury while working as a mechanic for Spencer County. Day continued to work for Spencer County after his injury until May 2020, when he underwent surgery on his right shoulder. Spencer County paid Day $641.94 per week in temporary total disability from May 26,... Read More

NY - Summary Judgment for Worker's Labor Law Claim Overturned

06/20/2024 | 0

A New York appellate court overturned a grant of summary judgment for a worker on his Labor Law claim based on his alleged man lift accident. Case: Hartigan v. Gilbane Building Co., No. 152414/18, 595507/18, 06/13/2024, published. Facts: Terence Hartigan allegedly suffered injuries when he fell as he was climbing from a retracted man lift from which he had been performing overhead fire-sprinkler work. Hartigan said he slipped while descending the lift's affixed metal ladder due to moisture on its rungs and fell 4 to 5 feet to the ground. Procedural history: Hartigan filed sui... Read More

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Press - Sullivan on Comp Launches ChatSOC, an Innovative Chatbot for California Workers' Compensation Professionals, Integrated with Authoritative Legal Treatise

04/22/2024 | 0

  LOS ANGELES, April 22, 2024 - Sullivan on Comp, the leading comprehensive digital resource on California workers' compensation law, proudly announces the launch of ChatSOC, an advanced chatbot designed to streamline workers' compensation inquiries for professionals in the field. Officially launching today, ChatSOC integrates directly with the Sullivan on Comp digital treatise, provid... Read More

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Industry Insights

CA - Kamin and Larres: En Banc Decision Clarifies Kite Rebuttals

By John P. Kamin And Louis A. Larres
06/20/2024 | 0

The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board has issued a new en banc decision clarifying how applicants’ attorneys may rebut the Permanent Disability Rating Schedule to add PD and get higher monetary values. The commissioners issued a new en banc decision in the case of Vigil v. County of Kern on June 10. The board ruled that although the PDRS is prima facie evidence of applicants’ levels of permanent disability, it may be rebutted by applicant’s attorneys seeking to increase PD. The key to understanding this decision is having a comprehension of the Co... Read More

CA - Amazon Fined $5.9M for Violating Quota Law

06/20/2024 | 0

The California Labor Commissioner's Office on Tuesday announced that it fined Amazon $5.9 million for violating the state’s warehouse quota law. Amazon failed to provide written notice of quotas as required by Assembly Bill 701, which took effect Jan. 1, 2022. The labor commissioner said it fined Amazon $100 for each of the 59,017 violations found at warehouses in Moreno Valley and Redlands between Oct. 20, 2023, and March 9. Assembly Bill 701 requires employers who control 100 or more employees at a single distribution center of 1,000 or more employees at one or more distribution ... Read More

NY - Roofer Sentenced in Workplace Death Cover-Up

06/20/2024 | 0

The owner of a New York roofing company was sentenced Monday to five years of probation and ordered to pay fines of an undisclosed amount in connection with the cover-up of a workplace death. Jeremiah Wiedemann, owner of Wiedemann Sons Roofing, was sentenced by Fulton County New York Supreme Court Judge Chad W. Brown after previously pleading guilty to tampering with physical evidence, a Class E felony, and a misdemeanor count of failing to secure workers' compensation insurance. Wiedemann, of Gloversville, also pleaded guilty to an additional charge of falsely reporting an incident... Read More

NATL. - AppliedVR Names Michael Marsau Executive Director, Workers' Compensation

06/20/2024 | 0

AppliedVR appointed Michael Marsau as its executive director of workers’ compensation. Marsau is overseeing the launch of the company’s flagship RelieVRx prescription therapeutic into the workers’ compensation market, the company said. In this role, he will develop and implement sales, marketing and account service strategies for AppliedVR’s workers’ comp channel. Marsau has held executive positions in workers’ compensation medical management companies for more than 25 years, beginning with Cypress Care, an ancillary care provider that is now... Read More

CA - CWCI: Evidence to Support Heat Injury Presumption 'Lacking'

06/18/2024 | 0

The California Workers’ Compensation Institute on Monday said there’s a lack of evidence to support a legislative proposal to create a presumption that heat injuries arise out of employment for agricultural workers whose employers violate certain workplace safety rules. CWCI said the comparatively few heat-injury claims by farm workers suggests employers are already complying with the Division of Occupational Safety and Health outdoor heat safety standards. And, the  overall denial rate for submitted agricultural claims  of 11% is lower than the denial rates for other in... Read More

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Press - CENTRE FOR NEURO SKILLS SPONSORS KIDS CHANCE OF AMERICA

05/16/2024 | 0

CENTRE FOR NEURO SKILLS SPONSORS KIDS CHANCE OF AMERICA Centre for Neuro Skills and Kids Chance of California work together to provide educational scholarships for children of injured workers Bakersfield, Calif. (May 16, 2024) Centre for Neuro Skills (CNS), a leading provider of traumatic and acquired brain injury rehabilitation services, announced its Silver Sponsorship of Kids Chance of California (KCOCA). Kids Chance, a national organization, provides scholarships and support to children of workers injured on the job. While Centre for Neuro Skills focuses on providing ... Read More

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CA - Court Revives Widow's Civil Claim for Husband's COVID-19 Death

06/18/2024 | 0

A California appellate court revived a widow’s civil suit against an employer for her husband’s fatal COVID-19 infection. Case: Chavez v. Alco Harvesting LLC, No. B329282, 06/17/2024, published. Facts: Leodegario Chavez Alvarado worked for Alco Harvesting LLC as a foreman and bus driver. Alco provided Alvarado and other workers with housing at the Hotel Santa Maria. The hotel was operated by 210 Nicholson LLC. Alco employees were allegedly placed in close living quarters that precluded social distancing. A COVID-19 outbreak soon began at the hotel. Alco and 210 Nicholson allege... Read More

CA - WCAB Proposes More Sanctions for Alleged Abuse of Recon Petitions

06/18/2024 | 0

The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board on Monday published two en banc decisions proposing additional sanctions against an attorney and a hearing representative who are already facing fines for allegedly filing frivolous petitions for reconsideration to delay trials. The WCAB in Hidalgo v. Roman Catholic Archbishop et al. provided notice of its intent to impose up to $7,500 in sanctions against both attorney Susan Garrett and hearing representative Lance Garrett for three instances in which commissioners said petitions for reconsideration were filed with the willful intent to disrupt o... Read More

TX - Court Revives Worker's Challenge to Partial Denial of Claim

06/18/2024 | 0

A Texas appellate court revived an injured school district employee’s challenge to an administrative law judge’s determination that she was barred from pursuing compensation for some alleged conditions and dates of disability arising from a workplace accident. Case: Lee v. Grand Prairie Independent School District, No. 03-23-00454-CV, 06/13/2024, published. Facts: Phyllis Lee worked for Grand Prairie Independent School District, a self-insured employer. Lee suffered injuries at work in September 2017. Procedural history: An administrative law judge found that Lee was barred from... Read More

PA - Employer Can't Join Other Parties to Share Potential Liability for Fatal Claim

06/18/2024 | 0

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania upheld an administrative decision finding that an employer could not join another entity and its insurance carrier as liable parties for a worker’s fatal accident. Case: Reading Anthracite Co. v. Oxenrider, No. 120 C.D. 2023, West Spring Energy LLC v. Oxenrider, No. 121 C.D. 2023, Rockwood Casualty Insurance Co. v. Oxenrider, No. 126 C.D. 2023, State Workers’ Insurance Fund v. Oxenrider, No. 170 C.D. 2023, 06/11/2024, published. Facts and procedural history: West Spring Energy LLC and Reading Anthracite Co. conduct coal mining operation... Read More

IL - Court Upholds Dismissal of Carrier's Garnishment Claim to Collect on Default Judgment

06/18/2024 | 0

A federal appellate court upheld the dismissal of an insurance carrier’s garnishment claim against another carrier seeking to collect a default judgment against an employer for a workers’ compensation claim. Case: Continental Indemnity Co. v. BII Inc., No. 23-1648, 06/12/2024, published. Facts: Alfred Lumpkins worked for BII Inc. He suffered injuries while working on a construction project in Chicago in 2016. BII was a subcontractor under Linn-Mathes Inc. The contract between Linn-Mathes and BII required BII to maintain insurance, including workers’ compensation coverage, ... Read More

CA - DWC Updates Ambulance Section of Fee Schedule

06/18/2024 | 0

The California Division of Workers’ Compensation updated the fee schedule for ambulance services. The DWC on Friday said it adopted the latest ZIP code files from Medicare’s third quarter update. There were no other changes to the ambulance services section of the Official Medical Fee Schedule, the division said. The updated fee schedule applies to services provided on or after July 1. A copy of the order adopting the changes is here. ... Read More

CA - DWC Drops Plans to Eliminate Physician Dispensing Fee for Compound Drugs

06/17/2024 | 0

The California Division of Workers’ Compensation on Friday reversed course on a proposal to eliminate physician dispensing fees for compound drugs in proposed pharmacy rules. The division in February proposed to incorporate new reimbursement rules adopted by the state’s Medicaid program, Medi-Cal. Among other things, the division's proposal included Med-Cal's two-tiered dispensing fee process and a new methodology for setting drug prices. On Friday, the division proposed rules that would pay doctors $10.05 to dispense compound drugs from their offices. The divi... Read More