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February 26, 2024

California: Noteworthy Independent Medical Review (IMR) Decisions (February 2024)

LexisNexis has selected some recently issued noteworthy IMR decisions that illustrate the criteria that must be met to obtain authorization for a variety of different medical treatment modalities. LexisNexis Commentary for each selected IMR is provided below. Many of these IMR decisions were reprinted in California Compensation Cases , which can be accessed on Lexis+. Lexis+ subscribers can access those particular decisions...

February 21, 2024

California Compensation Cases February 2024

CALIFORNIA COMPENSATION CASES Vol. 89, No. 2 February 2024 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 LexisNexis Online Subscribers: You can link to your account on Lexis+ to read the complete headnotes and court decisions, en banc decisions, writ denied summaries...

February 15, 2024

California: Is Shipley on Life Support? The Implications of Zurich

By Hon. Susan V. Hamilton, Former Assistant Secretary and Deputy Commissioner, California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board In the 1785 poem, To a Mouse , Robert Burns observed that the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Burns’ observation is relevant in the case of some petitions for reconsideration filed before the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (Appeals Board). As in all judicial...

February 05, 2024

California: WCAB Practices Are Evolving: Are Their Templates Evolving as Well?

By Hon. Colleen Casey, Former Commissioner, California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board The struggle is real. How and when should Workers’ Compensation Judges (WCJs) apply the statute of limitations to bar compensation claims of injured workers? This process is especially challenging when dealing with industrial cumulative traumas (CT) and their end date pursuant to Lab. Code § 5412. As discussed...

January 31, 2024

CWCI Analyzes California Workers’ Comp Inpatient Care

Oakland, CA - The number of inpatient hospitalizations in the California workers’ compensation system declined 51.1% between 2012 and 2022, spurred by declining claim volume, technological advances and changes in Medicare rules that allow more outpatient procedures, the elimination of redundant payments for spinal surgery hardware, and the expansion of evidence-based guidelines for spinal fusions and other surgeries...

January 29, 2024

Working From Home May Have Negative Health Consequences

By Hon. Susan V. Hamilton, Former Assistant Secretary and Deputy Commissioner, California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board Employees who work from their homes instead of an office or other location is not a new phenomenon. In the 1980’s and 1990’s some industries began to employ workers who worked exclusively from home. No doubt you first received a telemarketing or sales call several decades ago...

January 23, 2024

California Compensation Cases January 2024

CALIFORNIA COMPENSATION CASES Vol. 89, No. 1 January 2024 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 LexisNexis Online Subscribers: You can link to your account on Lexis+ to read the complete headnotes and court decisions, en banc decisions, writ denied summaries,...

January 16, 2024

California: Litigation Tool Box: How to Avoid the “Gotchas”

By Hon. Colleen Casey, Former Commissioner, California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board No wonder it’s a jungle out there. No one is following the rules. Do the Labor Code rules still exist? We were all distracted by COVID. Were changes made while we weren’t looking? Did a mind sweep function somehow delete our collective memory? Inquiring minds want to know. Recent WCAB decisions provide some curious...

January 08, 2024

California: Petitions for Disqualification of Workers’ Compensation Judge Based on Bias: A Steep Climb?

By Hon. Marguerite Sweeney, Former Commissioner, California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board It’s no surprise to practitioners that most petitions to disqualify a WCJ are denied by the Appeals Board. What might be surprising is that many of those petitions are noncompliant with procedural requirements. Moreover, a multi-year review of the Appeals Board’s decisions confirms that the Board generally...

January 02, 2024

Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law Case Spotlights (Fall 2023)

By Thomas A. Robinson, co-author, Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law Editorial Note: All section references below are to Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, unless otherwise indicated. Contractor Distinction: Right to Control Details. The workers’ compensation system provides benefits not so much to injured “workers” as it does to injured “employees.” One’s...

January 02, 2024

California: Gideon Baum Named CWCI Chief Operating Officer

Oakland, CA – Gideon L. Baum has been named Chief Operating Officer of the California Workers’ Compensation Institute according to Alex Swedlow, President of the Oakland-based research group. Mr. Baum, who received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from UCLA and his graduate degree in Public Administration from USC, joins CWCI after having spent the past several years as the Vice President of...

January 02, 2024

CWCI: California WC Public Self-Insured Claim Volume, Total Paid and Incurred Losses Decline

Initial data on fiscal year (FY) 2022/23 public self-insured claims experience in the California workers’ compensation system show that public self-insured’s total claim volume, spurred by a sharp drop in indemnity claims, fell 16.8% in the 12 months ending June 30 of this year, which helped drive down public self-insured total incurred losses for the second time since the pandemic hit, while public self-insured...

January 02, 2024

California Compensation Cases December 2023

CALIFORNIA COMPENSATION CASES Vol. 88, No. 12 December 2023 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 LexisNexis Online Subscribers: You can link to your account on Lexis+ to read the complete headnotes and court decisions, en banc decisions, writ denied summaries...

January 02, 2024

California: Top 25 Noteworthy Panel Decisions (July through December 2023)

LexisNexis has selected some of the top “noteworthy” panel decisions issued by the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board during the period July through December 2023. The second part of this year yielded several cases addressing instances of workplace violence, including one case involving a third-party attack and another an assault by a co-worker. In the latter case, the WCAB applied the two...

December 08, 2023

California: How Should Labor Code Section 3301(b) Be Interpreted? Velasquez Puts That Question in the Spotlight

By Hon. Susan V. Hamilton, Former Assistant Secretary and Deputy Commissioner, California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board The existence of an employment relationship is the lynchpin of workers’ compensation programs. California’s workers’ compensation act, which must be liberally construed to protect injured workers, presumes that persons rendering services for another are employees ( Lab...

December 06, 2023

A Look at Our Changing Workforce and the Consequences for Workers’ Compensation

By Hon. Susan V. Hamilton, Former Assistant Secretary and Deputy Commissioner, California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board For readers who may not be familiar with the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI), it is renowned as a preeminent independent research organization dedicated to helping guide policymakers and others interested in improving workers’ compensation systems by providing...

November 28, 2023

CWCI Notes No Change in California Workers’ Compensation Weekly TD Rates for 2024

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued new data showing California's State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) edged down 0.48 percent from $1,650 to $1,642 in the 12 months ending March 31, 2023. As a result, the California Workers’ Compensation Institute (CWCI) notes there will be no change in California’s minimum and maximum temporary total disability (TTD) and permanent total disability (PTD) rates for 2024...

November 28, 2023

California Compensation Cases November 2023

CALIFORNIA COMPENSATION CASES Vol. 88, No. 11 November 2023 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 LexisNexis Online Subscribers: You can link to your account on Lexis+ to read the complete headnotes and court decisions, en banc decisions, writ denied summaries...

November 28, 2023

California: Labor Code Section 4663(c) Revisited: When Is a Physician’s Apportionment Determination Substantial Evidence?

By Hon. Susan V. Hamilton, Former Assistant Secretary and Deputy Commissioner, California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board Nearly two decades ago Senate Bill 899 was enacted and ushered in a new apportionment scheme making the employer liable only for the percentage of permanent disability directly caused by the industrial injury ( Lab. Code § 4664 (a)). To effectuate that statutory mandate, the physician...

November 08, 2023

California: Noteworthy Independent Medical Review (IMR) Decisions (11/2023)

LexisNexis has selected some recently issued noteworthy IMR decisions that illustrate the criteria that must be met to obtain authorization for a variety of different medical treatment modalities. LexisNexis Commentary for each selected IMR is provided below. Many of these IMR decisions were reprinted in California Compensation Cases , which can be accessed on Lexis Advance. Lexis Advance subscribers can access those...

November 02, 2023

COVID-19 Among Nursing Care Facility Workers: Occupational Injuries and Illnesses

By Hon. Susan V. Hamilton, Former Assistant Secretary and Deputy Commissioner, California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board Early in the COVID-19 pandemic we learned that nursing care facilities ( i.e., nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and the like) were especially vulnerable to the disease. Based on our current knowledge of COVID-19, the susceptibility of employees in such...

October 25, 2023

California: Home Health Assessment

Home Health Assessment: When Can a Defendant Use Labor Code Section 4050 to Compel an Evaluation? By Hon. Susan V. Hamilton, Former Assistant Secretary and Deputy Commissioner, California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board Labor Code section 4050 requires an industrially injured employee, upon the written request of their employer, to submit at reasonable intervals to a medical examination by a practicing physician...

October 19, 2023

California Workers’ Compensation: Year 2023 in Review

By Julius Young, Richard M. Jacobsmeyer, and Barry D. Bloom, Co-Editors-in-Chief, Herlick, California Workers’ Compensation Handbook This 2024 edition is the 43rd edition of Herlick, California Workers’ Compensation Handbook . The after-effects of the COVID epidemic are still evident in the California system. Since 2020, many workers’ compensation stakeholders have changed their operational models...

October 19, 2023

California Compensation Cases October 2023

CALIFORNIA COMPENSATION CASES Vol. 88, No. 10 October 2023 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 LexisNexis Online Subscribers: You can link to your account on Lexis+ to read the complete headnotes and court decisions, en banc decisions, writ denied summaries...

October 10, 2023

California: Head Contusion’s Effect Makes Pre-Existing Brain Tumor Compensable

By Hon. Susan V. Hamilton, Former Assistant Secretary and Deputy Commissioner, California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board Perhaps the title has piqued your curiosity, and you decide to take a second glance. No, you aren’t reading some newsstand tabloid; you are reading LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter. How might a simple head contusion be linked to an anaplastic meningioma so that the...