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CA - Court Publishes Decision That Privette Doctrine Bars Worker's Claim

09/30/2022 | 0

The Court of Appeal for the 3rd District of California has ordered publication of its decision from earlier this month finding the Privette doctrine barred a worker from pursuing a tort claim against a property owner and its employee for his fall from a scaffold on the premises. The court’s decision in Miller v. Roseville Lodge No. 1293, No. C090751, was originally released as an unpublished opinion. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in California. The Federal Insurance Co. and the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel separately filed requests for the court t... Read More

WV - Supreme Court Upholds 0% Permanent Partial Disability Award for Worker With Headaches

09/30/2022 | 0

The West Virginia Supreme Court unanimously upheld an award of 0% permanent partial disability for a clerical worker with persistent headaches following a head injury from a fall. Case: Linkous v. Bluestone Health Association Inc., No. 21-0315, 09/19/2022, published. Facts: Joyce Linkous worked for Bluestone Health Association Inc. as a receptionist. She injured her head and left thumb on Dec. 7, 2015, when she slipped and fell on ice at work. Linkous had a long history of migraines and headaches prior to the fall. From 2010 through 2015, Linkous was repeatedly treated at Princeton Com... Read More

AL - Court Says Maintenance Worker Waited Too Long to File Claim for Back Injury

09/30/2022 | 0

The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals upheld the dismissal of a maintenance worker’s claim for benefits for a back injury as time-barred. Case: Dillard v. Calvary Assembly of God, No. 2210341, 09/23/2022, published. Facts: Ron Dillard worked for the Calvary Assembly of God doing maintenance. On Sept. 20, 2017, Dillard fell down some stairs when the tread on a stair came loose. He landed in a seated position and experienced low back pain. Dillard reported his accident to Calvary's secretary. When the secretary asked him if he wanted to see a doctor, Dillard responded that he... Read More

CA - Vocational School Executives Charged With Fraud

09/30/2022 | 0

Executives at a vocational school that sent a carrier an enrollment agreement purportedly signed by an injured worker who had died about five months earlier were arrested for fraud, the California Department of Insurance announced. Rene Carlos Aguero, 71, and Gustavo Adolfo Lopez, 56, were arrested Wednesday for allegedly submitting fraudulent vocational training vouchers and for failing to provide training at their for-profit school, Computer Institute of Technology. They each face 18 felony counts, including conspiracy, forgery, grand theft and insurance fraud. The Insurance Department est... Read More

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Press - MTI Expands Transportation Solutions To Launch MTiRide

09/28/2022 | 0

POMPANO BEACH, FL (September 28, 2022) - MTI America, the pioneer of transportation and translation services in the workers' compensation industry, today announced the expansion of its blended transportation program, launching MTiRide.  MTiRide's expansion of their partnerships with their proprietary and rideshare networks offers a more comprehensive suite of transportation solutions.  MTiRide matches each unique patient with drivers using Smart Scheduling technology through their state-of-the-art platform, MTi360.  MTiRide will continue to utilize MTI's ... Read More

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NJ - Geaney: Division of Workers' Comp Has Its First Woman and Hispanic Director

By John H. Geaney
09/30/2022 | 0

Few readers of this blog may know that the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation achieved a number of notable firsts this year with the appointment of Judge Maria Del Valle Koch as director of the division in June 2022. Koch is the first woman director and the first Hispanic director in the history of the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation. This is particularly noteworthy right now because Sept.15-October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, an annual observance established by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968 to celebrate the histories, culture... Read More

OR - Study Finds Farm, Construction Worker Injuries Increase With Heat

09/30/2022 | 0

An Oregon State University study found an association with increasing temperatures and increased rates of injury claims that were more pronounced among workers in the agricultural and construction sectors. The study analyzed about 92,000 accepted claims and found that the injury incident ratio for all workers started increasing when the max heat index exceeds 75 degrees. For all workers included in the study, the incident ratio increases to 1.04 when the temperature climbs above 75 degrees, meaning the rate of injuries is about 4% higher than the baseline from lower temperatures. The incident... Read More

CA - Lidocaine Designated 'Exempt' in Formulary Update

09/30/2022 | 0

The California Division of Workers’ Compensation announced changes to the prescription drug formulary that will designate lidocaine as “exempt,” effective Nov. 1. Lidocaine is a local anesthetic that is currently classified as “non-exempt” in the Medical Utilization Treatment Schedule drug list, which means it is subject to utilization review. Starting Nov. 1, it will be exempt from prospective UR when used in accordance with the state’s evidence-based treatment guidelines. “This change is adopted after discussions of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics C... Read More

CA - Bradford and Barthel Opens Bakersfield Office

09/30/2022 | 0

California-headquartered workers’ compensation defense firm Bradford and Barthel announced the opening of a new office in Bakersfield. While Bradford and Barthel has served the Bakersfield area through offices in Fresno and Southern California, the new office means attorneys would be assigned to the Bakersfield Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board on full-time basis, the firm said. Partner Manjit K. Batth is the managing attorney of the Bakersfield office. Associate attorney Armen Shakoorian will also practice out of the firm’s new office. The Bakersfield office is the ... Read More

FL - December Hearing Set for Challenge to Hospital Payment Rules

09/30/2022 | 0

A Florida administrative law judge will hear a challenge in December to proposed hospital reimbursement rules that, according to a group of carriers, set arbitrary and capricious maximum reimbursement allowances. The Florida Division of Administrative Hearings on Monday posted a notice that it will hold a hearing on the carriers’ petition at 9 a.m. Dec. 14-16 or as soon thereafter as possible. The notice says the parties agreed during a Sept. 21 status conference to waive the 30-day requirement for conducting the final hearing. Six carriers on Sept. 12 filed a petition challe... Read More

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Press - Join ReEmployAbility at the Comp Laude Awards & Gala October 2-4, 2022

09/27/2022 | 0

Brandon, FL (September 27, 2022) - ReEmployAbility is pleased to announce that it will sponsor and present at the Comp Laude Awards & Gala October 2-4, 2022. This year, in addition to the virtual event, it will return in person at Pasea Hotel & Spa in Huntington, California. The Comp Laude® Awards & Gala is an annual event hosted by WorkCompCentral and designed to bring together all stakeholders in the workers' compensation industry. The event includes two days of educational sessions, the People's Choice Awards, Kids' Chance 5K WalkRun, and net... Read More

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CA - Newsom Signs Bill Adding Social Workers to MPNs

09/29/2022 | 1

California comp carriers and self-insured employers can add licensed clinical social workers to their medical provider networks, under a bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Newsom on Tuesday enacted SB 1002, by Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-Burbank. “It is the intent of the Legislature to authorize qualified licensed clinical social workers to assess, evaluate and treat the behavioral and mental health needs of injured workers within the workers’ compensation system, thereby providing additional and readily available resources to injured employees who need mental health services,&... Read More

IL - Prior Settlement Doesn't Bar Employer From Challenging Causation

09/29/2022 | 0

The Illinois Appellate Court upheld a determination that an employer was not collaterally estopped from challenging causation for a worker’s condition and that the worker failed to prove his condition was related to his job. Case: Lewis v. IWCC, No. 2-21-0779WC, 09/20/2022, unpublished. Facts and procedural history: Leroy Lewis worked for USF Holland. In November 2015, Lewis suffered a work-related injury to his right shoulder and cervical spine. Lewis filed two workers’ compensation claims, and Dr. Richard Broderick performed surgery at the C3-C4 level. In May 2017, Lewis saw D... Read More

WV - High Court Upholds Award for Construction Worker With History of Back, Neck Issues

09/29/2022 | 0

The West Virginia Supreme Court unanimously upheld a permanent partial disability award to an injured construction worker with a history of back and neck issues. Case: Shepherd v. Cornerstone Interiors Inc., No. 21-0407, 09/19/2022, published. Facts: Larry Shepherd worked as a drywall finisher for Cornerstone Interiors Inc. He injured his lower back and neck in a fall at work in August 2016. A lumbar X-ray performed the day of the accident showed multilevel degenerative arthritis but no acute injury. A cervical X-ray showed multilevel degenerative disc disease and hypertrophy with neural fo... Read More

LA - Court Revives Employer's Claim of Overpayment to Injured Stunt Performer

09/29/2022 | 0

A Louisiana appellate court overturned the dismissal of an employer’s claim that it had overpaid benefits to an injured stunt performer. Case: Eilts v. Twentieth Century Fox TV, No. 54,757-WCA, 09/21/2022, published. Facts: Sarah Eilts worked for Breakout Kings Productions LLC on the television show "Salem" as a stunt performer. "Salem" was a Gothic horror television series filmed in northwest Louisiana from 2014 to 2016 with a cast that included Shane West, Janet Montgomery, Tamzin Merchant, Xander Berkley and Lucy Lawless. In January 2016, the show was filming n... Read More

CA - Labor Commissioner Cites Home Health Firms $1.8M for Misclassifying Workers

09/29/2022 | 0

The California Labor Commissioner’s Office fined home health care placement agencies $1.8 million for allegedly misclassifying 66 workers as independent contractors to save on wages, taxes and work comp insurance. The Labor Commissioner’s Office said Angel Connection Nursing Care and Angel Connection Nursing Services failed to pay overtime to 22 workers and that nine did not receive minimum wage. One of the businesses failed to maintain work comp coverage. Angel Connection Nursing Care's owner, Annabelle Ricasata, and Angel Connection Nursing Services owners Merjilyn Chu... Read More

NJ - Owners of Medical Transport Company Charged With Premium Fraud

09/29/2022 | 0

The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office announced that the owners of a non-emergency medical transportation company were charged with providing false payroll information to reduce their workers’ compensation insurance costs. The state’s top prosecutor said Winnifred Olosunde, 66, and Taiwo “Peter” Olosunde, 55, were each charged in a Sept. 16 indictment with one count of insurance fraud and 18 counts of failure to pay taxes. The Attorney General’s Office said the couple are accused of providing false information regarding the number of medical d... Read More

FL - Physician Dispensing Rule Hearing Reset for Oct. 19

09/29/2022 | 0

The Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation announced that physician dispensing workshops that were postponed due to Hurricane Ian are rescheduled for Oct. 19. The division is proposing changes to rules addressing health care provider billing responsibilities and insurer authorization and billing obligations. The proposed 69L-7.730 would allow physicians, physician assistants, advanced registered nurse practitioners and other recognized practitioners to dispense medications that are authorized, medically necessary and causally related to the accident. Requests for authorization ... Read More