Workers' Compensation

California Workers’ Comp Case Roundup (4/29/2016)

CALIFORNIA COMPENSATION CASES

Vol. 81 No. 4 April 2016

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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Appellate Court Compensation Cases

California Insurance Guarantee Association v. W.C.A.B. (Lopez, Rosa), lexis.com, Lexis Advance

California Insurance Guarantee Association—Other Insurance—Joint and Several Liability—Compromise and Release—Court of Appeal, annulling WCAB’s order denying California Insurance Guarantee Association’s petition for reconsideration, held that California Insurance Guarantee Association had no liability, when Court of Appeal found that…

Rodas (Carlos, dec’d) v. W.C.A.B., lexis.com, Lexis Advance

Injury AOE/COE—Evidence—Inferences—Court of Appeal, annulling decision of WCAB that granted defendant’s petition for reconsideration, and remanding matter, held that defendant restaurant employee’s death was AOE/COE, when Court of Appeal found that...

Appellate Court Cases Not Originating With Appeals Board

Chorn v. W.C.A.B., lexis.com, Lexis Advance

Liens—Filing Fees—Constitutionality—Court of Appeal, dismissing petition for writ of mandate as to petitioners/applicants for workers’ compensation benefits and denying petition for writ of mandate as to petitioner/medical liens holder, held that challenged provisions of Labor Code §§ 4903.05 and 4903.8 did not violate any of constitutional provisions identified in petition for writ of mandate, when Court of Appeal found that...

Federal District Court Opinion of Related Interest

California Insurance Guarantee Association v. Burwell, lexis.com, Lexis Advance

California Insurance Guarantee Association—Medicare—Sovereign Immunity—U.S. District Court, Central District of California, granting defendant U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ motion to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint, held that McCarran-Ferguson Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 1012(b), protecting insurance business from federal legislative control, does not subject United States to California’s claims filing deadline because that Act was never intended to waive federal government’s sovereign immunity, when court found that...

Digests of WCAB Decisions Denied Judicial Review

Editorial Board members Melissa C. Brown, Hon. Joel K. Harter, James T. Ponzio, and Hon. Ralph Zamudio recommended the following writ denied cases for summarization in this issue.

City of Santa Barbara v. W.C.A.B. (Sanchez, Margarita), lexis.com, Lexis Advance

Injury AOE/COE—Psychiatric Injury—Workplace Harassment—WCAB, reversing WCJ, held that applicant accounting assistant sustained compensable psychiatric injury as result of harassment by co-worker with whom applicant also had longstanding personal relationship, when qualified medical evaluator opined that 80 percent of applicant’s psychiatric injury was caused by harassment, and, despite defendant’s assertion that harassment by co-worker did not constitute “actual events of employment” for purposes of compensability because harassment was...

Hartzheim Dodge, Inc. v. W.C.A.B. (Navarro, Juan), lexis.com, Lexis Advance

Credit—Civil Actions Against Employer—Sexual Assault and Battery—Fair Employment and Housing Act—WCAB affirmed WCJ’s finding that defendant was not entitled to first-party credit under Labor Code §§ 3600(b) and 3602(b)(1) against its workers’ compensation liability for applicant automotive lot attendant’s 9/14/2005 specific injury based on settlement recovery obtained by applicant in civil action against defendant in which applicant alleged that he had been sexually harassed by several co-employees and managing employee over five-month period of his employment, that he was sexually assaulted by several co-employees on 9/14/2005, and that defendant took no action against offending employees, when WCAB rejected...

Hollie (Norris) v. W.C.A.B., lexis.com, Lexis Advance

Injury AOE/COE—Off-Duty Educational Activities—WCAB affirmed WCJ’s finding that applicant physician did not sustain injury AOE/COE to his right knee on 4/27/2014 while participating in continuing education program on his own time to maintain his medical license, when applicant’s employer did not...

McDaniel (Linda) v. W.C.A.B., lexis.com, Lexis Advance

Permanent Disability—Offers of Regular, Modified, or Alternative Employment—Labor Code § 5815 Presumption of Adverse Decision—WCAB affirmed WCJ’s finding that issue of increased permanent disability under Labor Code § 4658(d) raised for first time in applicant’s petition for reconsideration of WCJ’s 5/11/2015 decision was not timely raised, when WCAB found that...

Pimes (Deanna) v. W.C.A.B., lexis.com, Lexis Advance

Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund—Statute of Limitations—WCAB, affirming WCJ, relied on standard set forth by Supreme Court in Subsequent Injuries Fund v. W.C.A.B. (Talcott) (1970) 2 Cal. 3d 56, 84 Cal. Rptr. 140, 465 P.2d 28, 35 Cal. Comp. Cases 80, and Subsequent Injuries Fund v. W.C.A.B. (Baca) (1970) 2 Cal. 3d 74, 84 Cal. Rptr. 151, 465 P.2d 39, 35 Cal. Comp. Cases 94, to conclude that applicant legal assistant’s 7/14/2014 application for Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund benefits filed 11 years after her 8/11/2003 stipulated date of injury was barred by five-year statute of limitations in Labor Code § 5410, when...

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority v. W.C.A.B. (LaRue, Ralph), lexis.com, Lexis Advance

Liens—Employment Development Department—WCAB rescinded WCJ’s finding that Employment Development Department was entitled to $ 2,300 reimbursement on its lien against applicant’s permanent disability indemnity and remanded matter for further development of record regarding whether Employment Development Department paid duplicate benefits to applicant, noting that Labor Code § 4904(b) requires only that...

Other WCAB Decisions Denied Judicial Review

Chevez (Maria) v. W.C.A.B., lexis.com, Lexis Advance

Petitions for Writ of Review—Dismissal—Non-Final WCAB Orders—Court of Appeal dismissed premature petition for writ of review because petitioner was not appealing final WCAB order or decision as required by Labor Code §§ 5900 and 5901, when applicant was...

CVS Caremark Corp./CVS Pharmacy v. W.C.A.B. (Reyes, Martin), lexis.com, Lexis Advance

Permanent Disability—Rating—WCAB awarded applicant pharmacy crew member/clerk 100 percent permanent disability for injury AOE/COE from 11/14/1996 through 11/14/2007, after apportionment (injury AOE/COE was stroke, hypertension, sleep disorder, psyche, and as compensable consequence of stroke on 11/22/2007, injury to left arm, left leg, brain, speech, sexual dysfunction, and cardiovascular system), based on medical opinions, including from agreed medical evaluator in internal medicine and qualified medical evaluators, with WCJ finding that...

Evidence—Admissibility of Medical Reports—WCAB held that reports from applicant’s primary treating physicians and two secondary treating physicians were admissible, when WCAB found that WCJ excluded reports on grounds that…

Honeywell International, Inc. v. W.C.A.B. (Cronin, William), lexis.com, Lexis Advance

Petitions for Writ of Review—Dismissal—Non-Final WCAB Orders—Court of Appeal dismissed premature petition for writ of review because petitioner was not appealing final WCAB order or decision as required by Labor Code §§ 5900 and 5901, when defendant was appealing WCAB decision holding that...

Hughes Aircraft v. W.C.A.B. (Billik, Bernard), lexis.com, Lexis Advance

WCAB Decisions—Res Judicata Effect—Medical Treatment—UR/IMR Applicability—Court of Appeal denied petition for writ of review of WCAB decision, noting that final WCAB decisions are entitled to res judicata effect, when petitioner was...

Meadowbrook/Star Insurance Co. v. W.C.A.B. (Torres, Maria), lexis.com, Lexis Advance

Permanent Disability—Rating—WCAB awarded applicant nursery worker 100 percent permanent disability, without apportionment, for admitted injury AOE/COE on 4/27/2009 to left ankle and psyche when applicant’s foot was trapped between two transportation vehicles, and WCAB based its award on opinions from...

Petition for Writ of Mandate or Other Relief Denied Judicial Review

California Lien Professionals Association, Inc. v. California Department of Industrial Relations/Division of Workers’ Compensation, lexis.com, Lexis Advance

Liens—Filing and Activation Fees—Writ of Mandate—Court of Appeal denied petition for writ of mandate filed by California Lien Professionals Association seeking stay or injunctive relief against Division of Workers’ Compensation from enforcing Labor Code § 4903.06, which requires dismissal by operation of law on 1/1/2016 of all liens filed prior to 1/1/2013 for which lien activation fees have not been paid, on basis that California Lien Professionals Association failed to demonstrate entitlement to relief requested, when...