Skip to main content Sullivan on Comp icon

Case Law Updates for June 2017

Posted by Michael W. Sullivan on Jun 12, 2017 12:00:00 PM

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.

CHAPTER 3: BUSINESS OF INSURANCE

In Southern Insurance. Co. v. WCAB (2017) B278412, the 2nd District Court of Appeal held that workers' compensation insurance policies could be rescinded under Insurance Code 650. In that case, a trucking company applied for workers' compensation insurance, declaring that its employees did not travel out of state and did not have a travel radius greater than 200 miles.


CHAPTER 5: INJURY

In Newberry v. San Francisco Forty Niners, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 143, the WCAB held that a professional football player sustained a single cumulative trauma injury through Nov. 11, 2009, while employed by three different football teams.


CHAPTER 7: MEDICAL TREATMENT

In Zamudio v. Starco Enterprises, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 151, the WCAB upheld a WCJ's order granting a defendant's petition to compel a home care assessment with a registered nurse, but rescinded an order allowing the defendant's attorney to be present in the applicant's home during the assessment.

In Mata v. Supermercado Mi Tierra, LLC, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 166, the WCAB held that an applicant was entitled to cervical fusion surgery that was approved by UR, even though the defendant asserted it was contesting liability for treatment on grounds other than medical necessity.

In Ingle v. Department of Motor Vehicles, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 137, the WCAB upheld a WCJ's decision that a defendant's UR decision was untimely based on an applicant attorney’s assertion that he received only the first 20 pages of the 25-page decision via fax from the defendant.

In Hacker v. County of San Bernardino-Public Health Department, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 162, the WCAB reversed a WCJ's decision that an IMR determination to deny medication was plainly erroneous because the IMR was performed by a physician with a specialty in family practice rather than a specialist in chronic pain/pain management.

In Aguirre v. County of Los Angeles, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 152, the WCAB rescinded an order staying all liens of Landmark Medical Management, LLC and PharmaFinance, LLC even though it was asserted that the individuals associated with the lien claimants had been criminally indicted for workers' compensation fraud.


CHAPTER 9: TEMPORARY DISABILITY

In Bounthon v. Safe Streets USA, LLC, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 127, the WCAB upheld a WCJ's decision that an applicant was not entitled to temporary disability when he refused alternative modified work arranged by his employer at the Salvation Army.

In Venancio v. White Labs, Inc., 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 181, the WCAB upheld a WCJ's determination that an applicant, who was an undocumented worker, was not entitled to temporary partial disability benefits after federal agents notified the employer that the applicant was not authorized to work in the United States.


CHAPTER 10: PERMANENT DISABILITY

In Ricablanca v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 147, the WCAB rescinded a WCJ's finding that an applicant was not entitled to an increase in permanent disability, per LC 4660.1, for any psychiatric disorder arising out of the coronary artery disease.

In Madson v. Michael J. Cavaletto Ranches, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 165, the WCAB denied the defendant's petition for reconsideration and affirmed its prior decision that an applicant's psychiatric disability arose directly from the events of employment and was not subject to LC 4660.1(c).


CHAPTER 14: DISCOVERY AND SETTLEMENT

In Morgan v. National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 141, the panel majority held that a defendant was not entitled to discovery of an employee's medical records pertaining to HIV/AIDS when the employee's widow alleged that his death was caused by industrial exposure to asbestos, not by industrial exposure to HIV/AIDS.

In Hasley v. Frito-Lay, Inc., 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 134, the WCAB granted removal of a WCJ's order denying an applicant's request for an additional QME panel, and remanded for the WCJ to determine whether and when claim forms were filed and if so, what was the nature of the injuries claimed.


CHAPTER 16: TRIAL AND APPEAL

In Page, Hansen. v. Acting Administrative Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation, (2017) 82 CCC 352, the California Superior Court held that it lacked jurisdiction over the plaintiffs' allegations that the workers' compensation system unlawfully discriminates on the basis of sex in the calculation of permanent disability benefits.

In Garcia v. WCAB, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. LEXIS 37 (writ denied), the 4th District Court of Appeal denied an applicant's petition for writ of review as untimely because it was not filed with the court within 45 days.

Topics: Case Law Updates

Case Law Updates for May 2017

Posted by Michael W. Sullivan on May 9, 2017 8:00:00 AM

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.

CHAPTER 4: EMPLOYMENT

In Marinwood Community Services v. WCAB (Romo) (2017) 10 Cal. App. 5th 231, the 1st District Court of Appeal held that a "volunteer fire department" for the purposes of LC 3361 includes a fire department composed predominantly, but not exclusively, of volunteers.

 

CHAPTER 5: INJURY

In Marinwood Community Services v. WCAB (Romo) (2017) 10 Cal. App. 5th 231, the 1st District Court of Appeal held that, under LC 3212.1, a volunteer firefighter was entitled to the cancer presumption against an employer even though he had not worked for that employer in more than 20 years.

 

CHAPTER 7: MEDICAL TREATMENT

In Garas v. RXI Plastics, Inc., 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 90, the WCAB rescinded a WCJ's order requiring a defendant to continue providing round-the-clock home health-care services "subject to a change in applicant's condition warranting reduction."

In Weimer v. Hillyard, Inc., 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 104, the WCAB held that an RFA form triggered an employer's UR obligations even though it did not contain the correct claim number. 

In Voelker v. D. Frey Plastering Co., 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 103, the WCAB concluded that an IMR determination denying a left shoulder arthroscopic surgery based on the result of a plainly erroneous finding of fact that was a matter of ordinary knowledge for the purposes of LC 4610.6(h).

In Puente v Napa Valley Unified School District, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 100, the WCAB rescinded a WCJ's decision that a defendant's MPN was inadequate because there were only two pain management doctors within 30 minutes or 15 miles of the applicant's residence or workplace. 

 

CHAPTER 9: TEMPORARY DISABILITY

In Keltner v. California Guest Services, Inc., 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 94, the panel majority held that an applicant was permanent and stationary following a UR denial of lumbar surgery.

 

CHAPTER 10: PERMANENT DISABILITY

In Irving v. JP Morgan Chase, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 93, the panel majority held that an applicant's sleep disability was not compensable when a physician's report was insubstantial, even though a sleep study was performed. The applicant alleged injury to multiple body parts as a result of an injury occurring in 2010, including a sleep disorder. 

In Madson v. Michael J. Cavaletto Ranches, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 95, the WCAB held that an applicant was entitled to permanent disability for injury to his psyche as a result of a 2013 motor vehicle accident. 

In City of Jackson v. WCAB (Rice) (2017) C078706, the 3rd District Court of Appeal held that apportionment pursuant to LC 4663 could be made to heredity or genetic factors. 

 

CHAPTER 13: PENALTIES AND SANCTIONS

In White v. WCAB, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. LEXIS 33 (writ denied), the WCAB held that although a defendant was liable for LC 5814 penalties for its unreasonable delay in providing awarded assisted-living services, the defendant was not liable for the value of the accrued benefits. 

 

CHAPTER 14: DISCOVERY AND SETTLEMENT

In Koran v. City & County of San Francisco, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 118, the WCAB upheld a WCJ's order excluding a defense counsel's law student intern from attending an applicant's deposition when the applicant objected to the student's presence. 

In Freitas v. Visalia Unified School District, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 87, the WCAB upheld a WCJ's decision replacing a QME in podiatry with a panel in orthopedics when the applicant filed an application alleging injury to the bilateral feet, low back, bilateral knees and left hip. 

In Davis v. WCAB (2017) 82 CCC 187, the 5th District Court of Appeal issued an unpublished opinion vacating the WCAB's decision that an applicant's self-procured report pursuant to LC 4605 was not reviewable by a QME.

 

CHAPTER 15: PRETRIAL LITIGATION

In Galindo v. American Medical Response, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 88, the WCAB affirmed a WCJ's order closing discovery and setting a matter for trial even though the defendant asserted that discovery was not completed because it had not deposed the panel QME. 

In Flores v. Chualar Canyon Ranch Supply, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 110, the WCAB awarded reimbursement of a vocational rehabilitation expert's costs, even though his opinion that the applicant was permanently totally disabled was rejected because the psychiatric aspects of her claim were barred by the six-month rule in LC 3208.3. 

 

Topics: Case Law Updates

Case Law Updates for April 2017

Posted by Michael W. Sullivan on May 8, 2017 3:30:00 PM

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.

CHAPTER 2: JURISDICTION AND SUBROGATION

In Harris v. Trendwest Resorts, Inc./Cendant Corp., 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 31, the WCAB held that an applicant did not settle his right to workers' compensation benefits when he settled his civil case against his employer for discrimination, harassment and related issues, and further denied the defendant's petition for credit of the civil case recovery against the applicant's workers' compensation benefits. 

 

CHAPTER 4: EMPLOYMENT

In Washington v. Pacific Hospice Anchor Medical Group/Illinois Midwest Insurance Agency, LLC, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 77, the WCAB held that a volunteer for a medical facility was not entitled to workers' compensation benefits even though she was injured while undergoing a TB test that was required before she could commence her services.

 

CHAPTER 5: INJURY

In County of Riverside v. WCAB (Sylves) (2017) E065688, the 4th District Court of Appeal held that the county of Riverside was liable for a deputy sheriff's cumulative trauma injury even though it was undisputed that he worked the last four years of his employment with the Pauma Police Department, which is on a reservation belonging to the Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians, a federally recognized Indian tribe. 

 

CHAPTER 6: STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS

In County of Riverside v. WCAB (Sylves) (2017) E065688, the 4th District Court of Appeal upheld a WCAB's decision that an applicant's cumulative trauma claim was not barred by the statute of limitations when he filed his application for adjudication within one year of when doctors first told him his medical conditions were related to his employment. 

 

CHAPTER 7: MEDICAL TREATMENT

In Bonilla v. San Diego Personnel and Employment dba Good People Employment Services, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 56, the WCAB held that a second opinion MPN doctor's request for treatment did not trigger the UR process when he did not issue an RFA in the manner required by CCR 9792.6.1(t)(1). 

In De La Garza v. Roll Global/Del Rey Juice Plant dba POM Wonderful, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 61, the WCAB awarded an applicant hand surgery requested by his treating physician when it was approved by UR, even though the surgery previously was denied by UR and IMR on the ground that the purpose of the procedure was cosmetic in nature. 

In Ramirez v. WCAB (2017) C078440, the 3rd District Court of Appeal upheld Dubon v. World Restoration, Inc. (2014) 79 CCC 1298 (Dubon II) to the extent that the WCAB does not have jurisdiction to resolve a treatment issue for a materially defective utilization review.

In Rios v. Bryan Jones dba The KB Group, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 70, the WCAB rescinded a WCJ's decision that, in light of SCIF v. WCAB (Margaris) (2016) 81 CCC 561, an applicant must follow the UR/IMR track to obtain a final determination on the need for treatment even following an untimely UR. 

In Ramirez v. WCAB (2017) C078440, the 3rd District Court of Appeal rejected an applicant's argument that the independent medical review process violates federal due process. 

In Parrent v. WCAB (2017) 82 CCC 155 (writ denied), the Court of Appeal denied an applicant's petition for writ of review asserting that employers participating in the medical provider network program are precluded from challenging an MPN physician's treatment recommendation through utilization review. 

In Bonilla v. San Diego Personnel and Employment dba Good People Employment Services, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 56, the WCAB held that the existence of the MPN second opinion process does not preclude an employer from using the UR process mandated by LC 4610 et seq to review an MPN physician's recommended medical treatment. 

In Barri v. WCAB, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. LEXIS 16 (writ denied), the 1st District Court of Appeal denied a lien claimant’s petition for writ of mandate and request for stay challenging the provisions of SB 1160 and AB 1244, including provisions involving provider suspension and stay of liens. 

 

CHAPTER 9: TEMPORARY DISABILITY

In Padron v. Frito Lay, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 69, the WCAB rescinded a WCJ's finding that a defendant was entitled to $37,700.35 credit as a result of short-term disability and long-term disability payments made to an applicant pursuant to the defendant's disability plans. 

 

CHAPTER 10: PERMANENT DISABILITY

In Castillo v. City of Los Angeles, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 58, the WCAB held that an applicant's sleep apnea disability was not compensable per LC 4660.1(c) when it was caused by the applicant's obesity. 

In Lehman v. Walgreens, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 66, the WCAB upheld an award finding an applicant 100 percent disabled when it was supported by the opinions of two AMEs and the applicant's vocational evaluator. 

 

CHAPTER 13: PENALTIES AND SANCTIONS

In Van Dyk v. California Men's Colony, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 51, the WCAB held that a lien claimant, the CCPOA Benefit Trust Fund, was not entitled to interest, penalties, costs, sanctions or attorneys' fees for a defendant's delay in payment of its lien following an award. 

 

CHAPTER 14: DISCOVERY AND SETTLEMENT

In City of Santa Maria v. WCAB (Gowing), 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. LEXIS 20 (writ denied), the WCAB denied a defendant's petition to reopen to reduce permanent disability based primarily on sub rosa video of the applicant undertaken shortly after the stipulated awards, even though the AME reviewed the video and issued a supplemental report concluding that the applicant had no back disability. 

In Gonzalez v. 3M Co., 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 64, the WCAB held that a defendant did not waive its right to utilize the original QME when it struck a name from a replacement panel obtained by the applicant after the QME issued a late supplemental report.

In Saldana v. Color Spot Nurseries, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 46, the WCAB upheld a WCJ's decision that a QME violated LC 4628 when he refused to identify the person who helped a Spanish-speaking applicant complete the pre-examination questionnaire the QME reviewed in conjunction with his evaluation. 

 

CHAPTER 15: PRETRIAL LITIGATION

In Hernandez v. Mason Hill, Inc., 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 32, the WCAB rescinded a WCJ's order allowing a defendant to prepare the pretrial conference statement and setting a matter for trial when the applicant appeared for a priority conference but her attorney did not. 

In Ramos v. Troy CSL Lighting, Inc., 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 44, the WCAB, per CCR 10582,  rescinded orders dismissing an applicant's claims for lack of prosecution more than five years after the date of injury when the petition for dismissal, orders of dismissal and other filings were served on the applicant at an incorrect address. 

In Birtwell v. Oakland Athletics, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 26, the WCAB rescinded a WCJ's order dismissing a lien even though the lien claimant's legal representative failed to file a notice of representation as required by LC 4903.6(b) and CCR 10774.5(a). 

 

CHAPTER 16: TRIAL AND APPEAL

In Simmons v. Just Wingin' It, Inc., 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 48, the WCAB rescinded a WCJ's order requiring an out-of-state adjuster based in Illinois to physically appear at trial when the defendant offered to provide the adjuster's testimony through alternative means, such as CourtCall or video conferencing. 

 

Topics: Case Law Updates

Case Law Updates for March 2017

Posted by Michael W. Sullivan on Mar 15, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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.

 

CHAPTER 3: BUSINESS OF INSURANCE


In CIGA v. Burwell (2017) 82 CCC 47, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California held that CMS' policy of seeking full reimbursement for a conditional payment as long as one diagnosis code was covered by CIGA was invalid.

In Riddle v. Las Flores Convalescent Hospital, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 20, the WCAB held that if a defendant completely settled its liability by way of compromise and release (C&R) prior to an injury covered by CIGA, there would be no "other insurance" under IC 1063.1(c)(9).


CHAPTER 5: INJURY

In Carrillo v. LLG Corp., dba Fresco II, 2016 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 658, the WCAB held that an applicant's injuries in a motor vehicle accident were not compensable and rejected his argument that alcohol use by employees was a "customary incident of employment" sufficient to impose liability on the employer for an applicant's post-shift intoxication.

In Hansen v. Par Electrical Contractors, Inc., 2016 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 661, the WCAB held that an applicant linesman's injuries falling from an electrical tower were barred by his intoxication under LC 3600(a)(4).


CHAPTER 6: STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS

In Arce v. Phillips-Van Heusen Corp., 2016 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 656, the WCAB held that an applicant's claim was barred by the statute of limitations when the parties stipulated that her injury date was Jan. 7, 2011, the defendant paid no benefits and the application was not filed until Feb. 12, 2014.

In Mitchell v. City of Los Angeles, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 15, the WCAB held that a defendant's unilateral error in settling an applicant's dependency claim for $255,000 was not good cause to set aside the C&R.


CHAPTER 7: MEDICAL TREATMENT

In Swengel v. Cambridge, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 23, the WCAB held that because a defendant timely submitted to utilization review a request for authorization (RFA) for a continued gym membership, the determination is not subject to review by the board.

In Rodriguez v. Simi Valley Unified School District, 2016 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 671, the WCAB held that UR was applicable to a request for a home health-care evaluation, and to a request for home health-care services.

In Nungaray v. Remediation Constructors, Inc., 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 16, the WCAB granted the applicant's appeal of an IMR determination upholding a utilization review denial when the treating physician requested authorization for an epidural injection of the lumbar spine in the left L5-S1 region, but the UR physician found that an epidural injection on the right side was not medically appropriate.


CHAPTER 9: TEMPORARY DISABILITY

In Romero v. Plantel Nurseries, Inc., 2016 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 672, the WCAB held that when a temporarily partially disabled employee could not be returned to modified duty solely because of his undocumented status, he is entitled to temporary partial disability benefits as to the proportion chargeable to the industrial injury.


CHAPTER 13: PENALTIES AND SANCTIONS

In Shoaib v. Campbell Soup Co., 2016 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 673, the WCAB held that a defendant was liable for a 25 percent penalty for improperly withholding money from a stipulated award that settled an applicant's LC 132a claim.


CHAPTER 14: DISCOVERY AND SETTLEMENT

In Garza v. O'Reilly Auto Parts, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 3, the WCAB upheld a WCJ's decision that a panel in orthopedics was appropriate for an applicant who claimed injury to his left foot, low back, bilateral knees and sleep disorder, even though he submitted a request for a chiropractic panel.

In Feige v. State of California Department of Corrections, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 10, the WCAB held that an applicant was entitled to another QME per Navarro v. City of Montebello (2014) 79 CCC 418 (appeals board en banc) for his cumulative trauma injury ending Dec. 18, 2013, which was filed after the applicant had been evaluated by a QME for a specific injury on that date.

In Alvirde v. Barrett Business Services, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 5, the WCAB held that the WCJ erred when, after the parties submitted a compromise and release agreement for approval, he refused to set the matter for an MSC because the defendant refused to obtain a job analysis to determine the applicant's occupational group.


CHAPTER 15: PRETRIAL LITIGATION

In Fassett v. Bruce K. Hall Construction, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 9, the WCAB disqualified a WCJ from further proceedings pursuant to LC 5311 and CCR 10452 when he: (1) ruled on the defendant's petition for credit without hearing testimony or receiving evidence; (2) adopted the defendant's answer into his report and recommendation, hence adopting the defendant's unqualified opinions and beliefs as to the merits of the action (3) made a statement that the applicant was a vexatious litigant when no such finding had been
made; and (4) described the applicant's petitions as "nearly incomprehensible," contrary to the WCAB's finding that the applicant presented cogent arguments in opposition to the defendant's petition for credit.

In Flores v. Epic Management, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 11, the WCAB rescinded a WCJ's order denying the applicant's petition for
automatic reassignment under CCR 10453 when she was not given notice and an opportunity to be heard on the issue.

Topics: Case Law Updates

Case Law Updates for February 2017

Posted by Michael W. Sullivan on Feb 1, 2017 5:00:00 PM

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.

CHAPTER 2: JURISDICTION AND SUBROGATION


In Kesner v. Superior Court of Alameda County (2016) 81 CCC 1095, the California Supreme Court held that the duty of employers to exercise ordinary care in their use of asbestos includes preventing exposure to asbestos carried by the bodies and clothing of on-site workers.


CHAPTER 5: INJURY

In Davis v. State of California, Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, 2016 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 611, the WCAB held that a firefighter was not entitled to the presumption under LC 3212.85 for an alleged injury to his "nervous system and respiratory" occurring as a result of his exposure to fire retardant.

In Rowe v. Road Dog Drivers, LLC, 2016 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 622, the WCAB held that an applicant's claim was not barred by the going and coming rule when she was injured en route to the home of a supervisor so that the two of them could travel together to meet new clients.


CHAPTER 6: STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS

In Watkins v. Department of State Hospitals, Atascadero State Hospital, 2016 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 627, the WCAB held that an applicant's claim was not barred by the statute of limitation under LC 5405 when the defendant failed to prove when it last provided benefits.


CHAPTER 7: MEDICAL TREATMENT

In Estrella v. National Express Corp., 2016 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 614, the WCAB affirmed a WCJ's decision that a lien claimant outpatient surgical center was not entitled to payment when its services were barred by LC 139.3.


CHAPTER 9: TEMPORARY DISABILITY

In Guindon v. Robertson's Ready Mix, 2016 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 615, the WCAB held that an applicant, who was injured Jan. 22, 1997, was entitled to temporary disability from Sept. 15, 2004 through July 6, 2012, payable at the rate of $1,128.43, less credit for previous payments made for those dates.

In Castellanos v. County of Kern, 2016 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 632, the WCAB awarded the applicant temporary disability benefits following her retirement based on her testimony that the effects of her industrial injury prevented her from working any longer.


CHAPTER 12: DEATH BENEFITS

In Pantus v. Get'er Done Trucking, 2016 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 619, the WCAB held that a 12-year-old son who became physically and mentally incapacitated from earning as a result of the same accident that caused his father's death was entitled to lifetime dependency benefits under LC 3501, LC 3202 and LC 3502.


CHAPTER 14: DISCOVERY AND SETTLEMENT

In Maxham v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (2017) ADJ3540065, the WCAB issued an en banc decision holding: (1) "information," per LC 4062.3, constitutes records prepared or maintained by the employee's treating physician or physicians, and/or medical and nonmedical records relevant to determination of medical issues; and (2) a "communication," per LC 4062.3, can constitute "information" if it contains, references or encloses records prepared or maintained by the employee's treating physician or physicians, and/or medical and nonmedical records relevant to determination of medical issues.


CHAPTER 15: PRETRIAL LITIGATION

In Gottlieb v. Kitchen for Exploring Foods, 2016 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 635, the WCAB rescinded a WCJ's decision to exclude two exhibits submitted by a lien claimant, based solely on lack of compliance with CCR 10629(d), when excluding them prevented the claimant from proving entitlement to its lien.


CHAPTER 16: TRIAL AND APPEAL

In Curry-White v. Berkeley Unified School District, 2016 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 610, the WCAB rescinded a WCJ's order requiring the defendant to provide an unrepresented applicant with a suitable form to obtain her own bank records by subpoena so that she could obtain evidence to support her claim that she paid substantial sums for medical care out of her own pocket.

In Moore v. Sun Health Care, 2016 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 645, the WCAB found that a WCJ violated a lien claimant's due process rights when the judge refused to allow live testimony in court from the physician who treated the applicant.

Topics: Case Law Updates