Texas Appeals Panel Decision 100497 – Average Weekly Wage/Concurrent Employment

By Stuart D. Colburn, Shareholder, Downs Stanford The average weekly wage (AWW) for the claimed employer was $186.62. The claimant’s alleged concurrent employment AWW was $406.15 for a total AWW of $592.77. The claimant’s concurrent employment was working for several entities as an...

Robert Rassp and Stuart Colburn Interview on 19th Annual Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference Executive Roundtable Session

At the 19th Annual Workers' Compensation and Disability Conference & Expo, Las Vegas, NV, attorney Robert Rassp of California and attorney Stuart Colburn , Shareholder at Downs Stanford in Austin, Texas, were interviewed on their expectations for the Executive Roundtable Session. You can view...

Robert Rassp and Stuart Colburn Interview on 19th Annual Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference on Executive Roundtable Session

At the 19th Annual Workers' Compensation and Disability Conference & Expo, Las Vegas, NV, attorney Robert Rassp of California and attorney Stuart Colburn , Shareholder at Downs Stanford in Austin, Texas, were interviewed on their expectations for the Executive Roundtable Session. To view the...

2010 Year in Review: The Top 10 Workers’ Compensation Events in Texas

By Stuart D. Colburn, Shareholder, Downs Stanford 1. New Causation Standard The Texas Supreme Court addressed causation for the first time since 1943. Since that time, lower appellate courts and the Division often stated the injury need only be a producing cause and there can be more than...

Texas: Recent Appeals Panel Decision Provides Clarification With Regard to the SIBs Application Process

By Stuart D. Colburn, Shareholder, Downs Stanford On November 15, 2010, the Appeals Panel issued Appeals Panel Decision No. 101430 [ 2010 TX Wrk. Comp. LEXIS 113 ] that addresses some of the specifics with regard to the validity of a Claimant’s job search. This decision appears to loosen...

Texas 82nd Regular Legislative Session Proposed House Bill and Senate Bills Affecting Workers’ Compensation

By Stuart D. Colburn, Shareholder, Downs Stanford On January 11, 2011, the legislature will meet for the 82 nd Regular Session. Downs Stanford will be tracking bills affecting workers’ compensation. Currently, there are three bills that warrant your attention: • SB 93 relates...

Texas DWC’s Decision to Deny Benefit Review Conference Requests May Result in Greater Number of Incorrect Impairment Ratings

By Stuart D. Colburn, Shareholder, Downs Stanford The Division announced a new policy to its administrative staff designed to limit the number of Benefit Review Conferences (BRCs). Benefit Review Officers are now instructed to deny BRC Requests on MMI/IR disputes unless there is an alternate certification...

Texas: Potential Violations for Failure to Timely Exchange Evidence Prior to a Benefit Review Conference

The new BRC rules for exchange of evidence went into effect on October 1, 2010. As provided in Advisory 10-27, dated September 24, 2010, Downs Stanford provided information concerning the new schedule of required exchanges of relevant documents preceding a Benefit Review Conference. As reported in the...

Texas: Performance Based Oversight

By Stuart D. Colburn, Esq., Shareholder, Downs Stanford The Division held its first Performance Based Oversight (PBO) working group meeting on July 27, 2011. The meeting notes developed by the Division of Workers’ Compensation are attached to this Advisory. I refer you to those notes for a discussion...

Texas: Performance Based Oversight Committee Update

By Stuart D. Colburn, Esq., Shareholder, Downs Stanford The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) is holding stakeholder meetings regarding Performance Based Oversight (PBO). The Division is seeking stakeholder input to add additional measures. Currently, the Division measures carriers on...

Texas: Performance Based Oversight Committee Update

By Stuart D. Colburn, Esq., Shareholder, Downs Stanford The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) is holding stakeholder meetings regarding Performance Based Oversight (PBO). The Division is seeking stakeholder input to add additional measures. Currently, the Division measures carriers on four...

Texas: SORM v Rodriguez 08-10-00278

By Stuart D. Colburn, Esq., Shareholder, Downs Stanford This case addresses when a DWC-69 is required after a change in an impairment rating (IR) due to a mathematical error. State Office of Risk Mgmt. v. Rodriguez , 2011 Tex. App. LEXIS 6839 (Tex. App. El Paso Aug. 26, 2011) . The Appeals Panel...

Texas: SORM v Rodriguez 08-10-00278

By Stuart D. Colburn, Esq., Shareholder, Downs Stanford This case addresses when a DWC-69 is required after a change in an impairment rating (IR) due to a mathematical error. State Office of Risk Mgmt. v. Rodriguez , 2011 Tex. App. LEXIS 6839 (Tex. App. El Paso Aug. 26, 2011) . The Appeals Panel...

Texas Case Management

By Stuart D. Colburn, Esq., Shareholder, Downs Stanford The preamble to New Rule 137.5 is causing a controversy and perhaps a significant increase in costs to employers and carriers. Tex. Lab. Code Sec. 413.021(a) , states: "The insurance carrier shall evaluate a compensable injury in which...

Texas Case Management

By Stuart D. Colburn, Esq., Shareholder, Downs Stanford The preamble to New Rule 137.5 is causing a controversy and perhaps a significant increase in costs to employers and carriers. Tex. Lab. Code Sec. 413.021(a) , states: "The insurance carrier shall evaluate a compensable injury in which...

Texas: City of Port Arthur v. Brown

This case [ 2011 Tex. App. LEXIS 7881 ] concerns when a jury can disregard the testimony of the only expert who provided opinions or testimony to a jury. Tanner Brown was a City of Port Arthur (City) employee injured during a low-impact collision while riding in a city-owned vehicle. The injured worker...

Texas Performance Based Oversight (11/2/2011)

The Division is evaluating the current criteria Performance Based Oversight (PBO) committee meetings and seeking additional measures. The Division is also accepting input on the weights given to the various measures, a re-assessment opportunity, procedure to challenge or provide additional evidence regarding...

Texas: TPCIGNA v Brooks 03-10-00428

By Stuart D. Colburn, Esq., Shareholder, Downs Stanford This case concerns application of the TX Supreme Court's decision in Leordeanu v. American Protection Ins. Co., 330 S.W.3d 239 (Tex 2010) . The claimant in Tex. Prop. & Cas. Ins. Guar. Ass'n v. Brooks, 2011 Tex. App. LEXIS...

Prescription Drug Abuse in America (Part Three) - Strategies

By Stuart Colburn, Esq. This is the third part of a three-part series on prescription drug abuse in America. Part One explained “the problem”. Part Two identified the stakeholders involved with this epidemic. Part Three below discusses strategies for addressing prescription drug...

Prescription Drug Abuse in America (Part Three) - Strategies

By Stuart Colburn, Esq. This is the third part of a three-part series on prescription drug abuse in America. Part One explained “the problem”. Part Two identified the stakeholders involved with this epidemic. Part Three below discusses strategies for addressing prescription drug abuse...

Texas: Performance Based Oversight (12/23/11 Update)

Beginning January 1, 2012, the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) will begin its six month collection of data to assess insurance carriers for Performance Based Oversight (PBO). The PBO period will last until June 30, 2011. The PBO measures are as follows: Timely Initial Payment of Benefits...

Texas: Potential Enforcement Action

The Division is reminding system participants that enforcement actions may be taken against stakeholders who perform any activity in violation of the statutes or rules. Recent reminders include: A. New EDI Forms The Division created new EDI forms including the EDI-01, EDI-02, and EDI-03. Carriers...

National Workers’ Compensation & Disability Conference: A Special Benefit for LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation Law Community Members

LexisNexis has partnered with the National Workers' Compensation & Disability Conference ® ! Join your fellow LexisNexis Workers' Compensation Law Community members at this year’s National Workers' Compensation & Disability Conference ® , November 7 - 9 at the Las...

Workers’ Comp, Texas Style: A Highly Regulated System in a Pro-Business State

By Stuart D. Colburn and Albert Betts, Jr. Cotton, cattle and oil were the primary economic engines when Texas first adopted workers’ compensation. In the 100+ years since, the economy and workers’ compensation laws have changed dramatically. The shift from an agricultural to a manufacturing...

National Workers’ Compensation & Disability Conference: A Special Benefit for LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation Law Community Members

LexisNexis has partnered with the National Workers' Compensation & Disability Conference ® ! Join your fellow LexisNexis Workers' Compensation Law Community members at this year’s National Workers' Compensation & Disability Conference ® , November 7 - 9 at the...