California: What Constitutes an Ex-Parte Communication Post-Alvarez?

There have been a number of cases decided by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) dealing with Labor Code Section 4062.3 and what constitutes a prohibited ex parte communication with a Panel Qualified Medical Evaluator (PQME). Though many thought the Court of Appeal’s decision in...

Does an Employee Have to Obtain a Comprehensive Medical-Legal Evaluation Prior to Disputing a Utilization Review Determination?

In State Compensation Insurance Fund v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd. (Sandhagen) (2008) 44 Cal.4th 230 [73 Cal.Comp.Cases 981] (Sandhagen), the California Supreme Court clarified that an employer did not have the option of going through either UR or the QME process in addressing a treatment request...

California Workers' Comp Case Roundup (1/5/2012) - Messele III en banc

CALIFORNIA COMPENSATION CASES Vol. 76 No. 12 December 2011 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 © Copyright 2012 LexisNexis. All rights...

Lien Claimant’s PQME Reports Admitted Into Evidence: Cal. Comp. Cases February Advanced Postings (2/10/2012)

Here’s the second batch of advanced postings for the February 2012 issue of Cal. Comp. Cases. Lexis.com subscribers can link to the case to read the complete headnotes and summaries. County of Mendocino, PSI, Petitioner v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Board, City of Willits, PSI, Aaron...

California Panel QME Process: Is It Time to Admit We Are Dealing With a Monster?

A serious question needs to be asked about whether requiring the use of one Qualified Medical Evaluator (QME) in a workers’ compensation case, as opposed to the use of “battling QME’s”, has reduced litigation or has actually served to increase litigation. No question, at least...

SB 863: Changes Impacting the Use of Treating Physicians, Agreed Medical Examiners and Qualified Medical Examiners in California

By David Bryan Leonard, Esq., Special to the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation Law Community Day two of the 2012 California Workers’ Compensation and Risk Conference included a panel by James Fisher, Esq., counsel for the Department of Industrial Relations, currently assigned to the DWC...

SB 863: Changes Impacting the Use of Treating Physicians, Agreed Medical Examiners and Qualified Medical Examiners in California

By David Bryan Leonard, Esq., Special to the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation Law Community Day two of the 2012 California Workers’ Compensation and Risk Conference included a panel by James Fisher, Esq., counsel for the Department of Industrial Relations, currently assigned to the DWC...

California: Chief Judge Looks Back on Two Years of Service

The position of Chief Judge for the Division of Workers’ Compensation has had a storied history since its inception more than a decade ago. In April 2002, then Administrative Director Richard (Dick) Gannon appointed Steven Siemers, a trial judge at the Oakland District WCAB, as the first Chief...

California: W.C.A.B. Affirms Prior En Banc Decision Re: ADR 35.5(e) as Invalid

The W.C.A.B. has issued its follow-up decision in the previously issued en banc decision in Navarro v. City of Montebello . In its original decision the W.C.A.B. had issued a notice of intent to rule that Administrative Directive Rule 35.5(e) is an invalid interpretation of the provisions of Labor Code...

California: Can a Utilization Review Determination Exceed Its Appropriate Scope?

With respect to the increasing litigation over the UR process, is Dubon really the issue in many of these UR disputes? Utilization Review (UR) has been around for more than ten years now. UR first came into play in 2003 when Governor Gray Davis passed Senate Bill 228 . The following year, on April...