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Case Law Updates for November 2017

To keep Sullivan on Comp up to date on a monthly basis, our team dives into each panel decision and new laws to include an explanation of how each case fits within the workers' compensation scheme. Below is a sampling of this month's updates. Complete discussions of these topics can be found on Sullivan on Comp.


In Light v. Department of Parks and Recreation (2017) 82 CCC 987, the 4th District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court and concluded triable issues of material fact precluded summary adjudication of the plaintiff's retaliation claim, but not her disability discrimination claim. 



In Gravlin v. City of Vista, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 413, the WCAB granted reconsideration on its own motion of its prior decision and held that an applicant sustained a single cumulative trauma injury resulting in hypertension and skin cancer. 

In Anaya v. Kelly, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 381, the WCAB held that a seasonal strawberry picker sustained a single cumulative trauma (CT) injury, and that the insurer at the end of his employment was solely liable for the injury even though the applicant received benefits for the injury nearly a year earlier.

In Kimber v. City of Los Angeles, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 387, the WCAB held that a police officer's death from bronchiotracheopneumonitis was not covered by the presumption of industrial causation applicable to pneumonia under LC 3212. 

In Mueller v. Oakland Unified School District, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 391, the WCAB held that a teacher's psychiatric injury was not barred by LC 3208.3(d), even though she was employed for fewer than six months, because the injury was caused by a "sudden and extraordinary employment condition" in the form of a physical assault by a high school student.

In Minarik v. Del Taco, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 390, the WCAB held that an applicant's automobile accident while returning from a medical examination by an AME was a compensable consequence of her accepted 2012 injury to her back. 



In Zakaryan v. Glendale Community College, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 403, the WCAB found that a defendant and its adjusting agent unreasonably and in bad faith failed to pay compensation due the applicant under an award. 



In Southwell v. County of San Diego, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 397, the WCAB held that an applicant was entitled to an award of permanent total disability based on the opinion of a vocational expert even though the applicant retired from his employment prior to onset of industrially related symptoms.



In Go v. Sutter Solano Medical Center, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 412, the WCAB held that an employee is entitled to indemnity for temporary and permanent disability resulting from reasonable medical treatment of an industrial injury self-procured under LC 4605. 



In Rodriguez v. Garden Plating Co. (2017) ADJ8588344, the WCAB issued an en banc decision consolidating more than 1,200 nearly identical petitions for reconsideration, all seeking relief from the DWC's action dismissing their liens for allegedly failing to timely file declarations required by LC 4903.05(c) by July 1, 2017.



In Oranje v. Crestwood Behavior Health, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 392, the WCAB affirmed a WCJ's order allowing an applicant, who had moved to Nevada, to testify remotely through video conferencing software called Lifesize, when the applicant presented a report from her treating physician detailing the reasons she should be excused from traveling to testify in person. 

In Viray v. Pacific Gas & Electric, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 400, the WCAB rescinded a WCJ's award of 75 percent disability after apportionment that was based on the "range of evidence" between the opinion a psychiatric AME and an orthopedic QME. 

In Sanchez v. Unilever, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 395, the WCAB held that a defendant's stipulation to employment during an alleged cumulative trauma period was invalid because it had no authority to stipulate on behalf of another employer. 


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