Dynamex Does Not Actually Apply to Workers’ Compensation… or Does It?

By Scott Darling For those who somehow have not heard, the California Supreme Court issued a decision in 2018 that significantly impacted the age-old debate of who is an employee and who is an independent contractor. In Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court (2018) 4 Cal. 5th 903, the California Supreme Court established what has been referred […]

How and Why to Establish the Validity of a MedicalProvider Network at Trial

By Nicole Christy  What good is a valid MPN if you cannot prove it? Not much. In large part, applicants and their attorneys attempt to argue invalid MPN whenever they feel like going outside of it to procure treatment. Likewise, where the applicant or their attorney has already procured a favorable medical report from a non-MPN […]

Attorney Client Privilege and Work Product Doctrine

By Peter Yoon  The field of workers’ compensation is its own unique animal in the legal world. Many of the procedures and evidentiary rules that dictate civil lawsuits do not apply in workers’ compensation. Generally, open discovery is encouraged in workers’ compensation to facilitate agreements. However, the statutory privileges, such as, attorney client privilege (Evidence Code […]

The Demise of Vocational Rehabilitation Reports Post 01-01-2013

By Nicholas J. Perry  Often times as defense attorneys and claims examiners, we find ourselves in a situation where applicant’s counsel attempts to increase their client’s permanent disability percentage by obtaining a Vocational Rehabilitation Expert to show that their client is unable to compete in the open labor market or has a diminished future earning capacity. […]

Is the Combined Values Chart Rebuttable? Kite v. Athens Administrators (2013) 78 CCC 213

By A.J. Driscoll  For background, the Combined Values Chart (CVC) is a mathematical equation which has been developed for the specific purpose of combining multiple disabilities for a single date of injury. It was developed in order to compensate for the “overlap” that was caused with multiple injuries stemming from a single industrial injury. When using […]

Panel Dispute Strategy

By Nicole D. Rothford Panel disputes seem to be the new wave of litigation at the WCAB in the workers’ compensation arena, but a significant panel decision that is resulting in new issues for litigation, is not a new decision. In fact, the 2006 case of Nelly Romero v. Costco Wholesale, PSI, 72 CCC 824; 2007 Cal. Wrk. […]

Labor Code §4903.8(b) – The Most Overlooked and Non-Litigated Subsection Regarding Assignment in a Lien Litigation

By Danny Leu Currently, the common litigated issues at a Lien Trial regarding “assignment” under Labor Code §4903.8 have been focused on the enforceability of the assignment at the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board forum and on the standing of the lien claimant trying to collect on behalf of the assignee, both in accordance with Labor Code […]

Petition for Removal Prevents Out-of-State Adjuster from Appearing at Trial

By A.J. Driscoll The case of Jaime Simmons v. Just Wingin’ It, Inc. (2017) was defended by associate attorney, A.J. Driscoll, out of our Fresno Office. Temporary disability benefits were at issue at a Mandatory Settlement Conference at the Stockton Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. At the MSC, the parties could not settle the issue requiring a […]

Senate Bill 1160 / Lien Anti-Fraud Provisions and Utilization Review Changes

By W. Rod McClelland, Jr. Senate Bill 1160 was signed into law by Governor Brown on September 30, 2016.   The bill sought to address concerns of defendants concerning workers’ compensation liens and fraud.  The bill also sought to address concerns of applicant’s attorney’s relating to utilization review. ANTI-FRAUD PROVISIONS Labor Code section 4615 Labor Code section […]

Res Judicata and Collateral Estoppel

By Peter YoonClaim and Issue Preclusion in Workers’ Compensation The doctrines of Res Judicata and Collateral Estoppel are affirmative defenses to claims or issues that have been previously adjudicated in Court and may not be pursued by the same parties. The parties are precluded from litigating those issues and claims a second time. Res Judicata is […]