California Workers' Comp Cases Roundup (4/11/2012)

California Workers' Comp Cases Roundup (4/11/2012)

CALIFORNIA COMPENSATION CASES

Vol. 77 No. 3 March 2012

A Report of En Banc and Significant Panel Decisions of the WCAB and Selected Court Opinions of Related Interest, With a Digest of WCAB Decisions Denied Judicial Review

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE

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Lexis.com subscribers can link to the complete headnotes and cases below.

Appellate Court Compensation Cases

Barrett Business Services, Inc. v. W.C.A.B. (Rivas, Rafael), 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 213

Workers' Compensation Benefits—Payments—Checks—Court of Appeal, affirming WCAB order denying defendant’s petition for reconsideration, held that, because delivery of check to applicant did not occur, issuance of check did not discharge defendant’s underlying obligation to applicant, so that defendant remained liable to applicant on that obligation, when Court of Appeal found that …

County of San Bernardino v. W.C.A.B. (McCoy, John), 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 219

Psychiatric Injuries—Good Faith Personnel Actions—Migraines—Court of Appeal, annulling decision of WCAB, held that Labor Code § 3208.3(h) good faith personnel action defense precludes recovery for psychiatric injuries with resulting physiological manifestations, including migraine headaches, solely caused by stress from such actions, when Court of Appeal found that …

Appellate Court Cases Not Originating With Appeals Board

Corbin (Nettie) v. City of Los Angeles, 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 224

Civil Actions Against Employers—Settlement Agreements—Court of Appeal affirmed trial court’s judgment enforcing oral settlement agreement between plaintiff/applicant and her employer (defendant city), when plaintiff brought civil action against employer for several causes of action (including discrimination, retaliation, and hostile work environment), trial began on matter, parties agreed to …

Civil Actions Against Employers—Settlement Agreements—Court of Appeal held that there was no conflict between two provisions of oral settlement agreement between plaintiff and defendant, (1) provision that plaintiff was to retire from city employment and (2) provision that settlement agreement had no effect on plaintiff’s pending workers’ compensation claims against defendant, when Court of Appeal found that…

Cranford (Catherine) v. City of Huntington Beach, 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 231

Civil Actions Against Employers—Fair Employment and Housing Act— Court of Appeal affirmed trial court’s summary adjudication on plaintiff’s Fair Employment and Housing Act claims under Government Code § 12940 et seq., when Court of Appeal found that …

Civil Actions Against Employers—Medical Privacy Rights—Court of Appeal affirmed jury verdict finding that employer violated plaintiff’s medical privacy rights but that violation was not substantial factor in causing harm to plaintiff, when Court of Appeal found that …

Civil Actions Against Employers—Exclusion of Evidence—Court of Appeal held that it was not abuse of discretion for trial court to deny plaintiff’s motions to exclude evidence about plaintiff’s romantic partner and expert testimony from psychiatrist who examined plaintiff on behalf of city in plaintiff’s workers’ compensation claim, when Court of Appeal found that…

Civil Actions Against Employers—Post-Trial Motions—Court of Appeal affirmed trial court’s denial of plaintiff’s motions for judgment notwithstanding verdict and new trial, when Court of Appeal found that …

Reiner v. Kegel, Tobin & Truce, 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 253

Civil Actions—Anti-SLAPP Actions—Court of Appeal affirmed trial court's grant of defendants’ special motion to strike complaint (anti-Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation motion (anti-SLAPP motion)) under Code of Civil Procedure § 425.16, and summarily affirmed trial court’s denial of plaintiff’s request to conduct discovery related to trial court’s award of attorney’s fees and costs to defendants, when Court of Appeal found that…

Sanchez (Lydia) v. Brooke, 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 261

Negligence—Standard of Care—Substantial Evidence—Court of Appeal, affirming trial court’s denial of plaintiff’s motion for judgment notwithstanding verdict, held that record contained substantial evidence to support jury’s finding of plaintiff’s employer’s negligence, when Court of Appeal found that …

Workers' Compensation Law—Medical Treatment—Recovery of Medical Expenses—Court of Appeal, reversing in part as to damages trial court’s judgment, and following recent California Supreme Court decision, Howell v. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc. (2011) 52 Cal. 4th 541, 257 P.3d 1130, 129 Cal. Rptr. 3d 325, 76 Cal. Comp. Cases 1147, held that injured plaintiff may not recover from tortfeasor, as economic damages for past medical expenses, undiscounted sum stated in health care provider’s bill but never paid by or on behalf of injured plaintiff, since that plaintiff did not suffer any economic loss in that amount, when Court of Appeal found that…

Tidgewell (Janet) v. Gentry, 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 274

Civil Actions—Legal Malpractice—Court of Appeal affirmed trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants, when Court of Appeal found that …

Digests of WCAB Decisions Denied Judicial Review

Editorial Board members Francis V. Clifford, Hon. Jacqueline C. Duncan, Susan Hamilton, and James Pettibone recommended the following writ denied cases for summarization in this issue.

Baghoomian (Seb) v. W.C.A.B., 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 288

Petitions to Reopen—New and Further Disability—WCAB, denying applicant’s Petition to Reopen for New and Further Disability, held that applicant, who suffered injuries to his head, back, and psyche on 7/21/2003, resulting in temporary disability and 76 percent permanent disability, failed to sustain his burden under Labor Code § 3202.5 of proving by preponderance of evidence that he suffered new and further disability, when WCAB found that …

City of San Rafael v. W.C.A.B. (Payne, Monte), 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 293

Temporary Disability—Two-Year Limitation on Temporary Disability Indemnity—Leave of Absence Benefits—WCAB, affirming WCJ’s finding, held that Labor Code § 4850 benefits received by applicant/firefighter, who suffered …

Stipulations—Setting Aside—WCAB held that defendant did not show good cause to set aside stipulation made at MSC that applicant/firefighter incurred industrial injury through cumulative period 11/23/2007, notwithstanding…

Lee v. W.C.A.B. (Rincon, Enrique), 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 297

Injury AOE/COE—Neutral Risk Doctrine—WCAB affirmed WCJ’s finding that decedent’s death arose out of his employment and was compensable for purposes of widow’s claim for death benefits, when WCAB found that …

Tobar Industries v. W.C.A.B. (Phan, Kenny), 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 300

Settlements—Compromise and Release—Application of Labor Code § 3202 to Ambiguities—WCAB, reversing WCJ, held that applicant did not waive his Labor Code § 132a claim in settlement of his claim for left upper extremity injury via compromise and release agreement, when neither applicant nor defense counsel initialed Labor Code § 132a issue in paragraph 9 of compromise and release form to expressly include Labor Code § 132a in settlement, when WCAB found that…

Other WCAB Decisions Denied Judicial Review

Jahangani (Reza) v. W.C.A.B., 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 304

Petitions for Reconsideration—Time to File—WCAB dismissed applicant’s petition for reconsideration of WCJ’s Findings and Award, when WCAB found …

Injury AOE/COE—Alternatively, if petition for reconsideration were not dismissed, WCAB would deny petition for reconsideration of its holding that applicant did not sustain two claimed industrial injuries in 3/2010, based on medical record and applicant’s supervisor’s testimony, when WCAB found that…

Nguyen (Christine) v. W.C.A.B., 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 306

Petition for Writ of Review—Exhibits—Court of Appeal denied applicant’s petition for writ of review of WCAB order because applicant did not include …