California Workers' Compensation Cases Roundup (10/5/2012)

California Workers' Compensation Cases Roundup (10/5/2012)


Vol. 77 No. 9 September 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


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Appellate Court Compensation Cases

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation v. W.C.A.B. (Decourcey, Robert, Jr.), 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 767

Going and Coming Rule—Special Mission Exception—Special Risk Exception—Court of Appeal, annulling WCAB order, held that injuries employee sustained while driving to work did not give rise to workers’ compensation benefits because neither special mission exception nor special risk exception to going and coming rule applied, when Court of Appeal found that…

City of Sebastopol v. W.C.A.B. (Braga, William), 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 783

Permanent Disability—Offers of Regular, Modified, or Alternative Employment—Adjustment in Permanent Disability—Court of Appeal affirmed WCAB's holding that employer was not entitled to 15 percent decrease pursuant to Labor Code § 4658(d)(3)(A) in its permanent disability liability to employee who suffered cumulative trauma industrially-related hearing loss, when Court of Appeal found that…

Appellate Court Case Not Originating With Appeals Board

Barrueta v. Ralphs Grocery Co., 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 794

Employment Relationships—Class Actions—Court of Appeal, affirming trial court’s order denying class certification as to plaintiff’s claim against defendant Ralphs Grocery, held that trial court neither abused its discretion nor committed legal error in issuing its order, when Court of Appeal 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.

California Insurance Guarantee Association v. W.C.A.B. (Koch, John), 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 811

California Insurance Guarantee Association—Contribution and Reimbursement—Covered Claims—WCAB, affirming WCJ in split panel decision, held that applicant/commercial diver’s employer was entitled to pursue claim for reimbursement from California Insurance Guarantee Association for Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act benefits that employer provided to applicant following industrial injury and insolvency of its carrier, when WCAB found that …

City of Oakland v. W.C.A.B. (Kennedy, Kevin), 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 819

Presumption of Industrial Causation—Heart Trouble—Firefighters—WCAB, in split decision, rescinded WCJ’s finding that Labor Code § 3212 presumption of industrial injury was rebutted by evidence that …

City of Pasadena v. W.C.A.B. (Williams, Mark), 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 822

Res Judicata—Distinct Injuries Caused by One Exposure—WCAB affirmed its prior decision in which it found that applicant/police officer’s claim for industrial injury in form of hypertensive heart disease was not barred by doctrine of res judicata, when WCAB found that…

Flores (Robert) v. W.C.A.B., 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 826

Injury AOE/COE—Going and Coming Rule—Special Mission Exception—WCAB, reversing arbitrator in split panel decision, held that applicant’s claim for injuries incurred in motor vehicle accident while on his way to work was barred by “going and coming” rule, and that “special mission” exception to “going and coming” rule did not apply, when WCAB found that… Employment Relationships—Dual Employment—WCAB, reversing arbitrator in split panel decision, held that applicant was solely employed by Garnet Protective Services and Security, not by Joseph’s Cafe, when evidence established that…

Haile (Alemnesh) v. W.C.A.B., 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 832

Temporary Disability—Modified Duty—Abandonment of Employment—WCAB held that applicant/patient caregiver with right shoulder injury abandoned her modified employment on 12/23/2008 and was not entitled to temporary disability benefits on that basis after that date, when applicant left work on 12/20/2008 for extended leave to care for her ill father after defendant had denied applicant’s request for a leave due to its length and to staffing needs, and WCAB found that …

State of California/Dept. of Corrections & Rehabilitation v. W.C.A.B. (Salcido, Randall), 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 836

Average Weekly Earnings—Earning Capacity—WCAB, affirming WCJ, held that under Labor Code § 4453(c)(1) applicant was entitled to disability benefits based on his actual earnings as vocational teacher on date of injury rather than based on his subsequent decreased earnings as warehouse supervisor, when…

Tony’s Food Service v. W.C.A.B. (Parvool, Antonio), 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 842

Injury AOE/COE—Commercial Traveler Rule—WCAB, rescinding WCJ’s finding, held that injuries sustained by applicant/chef's assistant to his neck, upper extremities, lower extremities, psyche, digestive system, and in form of sleep disorder were compensable pursuant to commercial traveler rule, when applicant, who was based in southern California but traveled extensively for his employer, was injured during business trip to Hawaii when he dived head-first into shallow portion of swimming pool at his employer-provided hotel, when WCAB found that…

Other WCAB Decisions Denied Judicial Review

Lee (Hasani) v. W.C.A.B., 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 847

Injury AOE/COE—WCAB held that applicant ramp agent did not sustain injury AOE/COE on 9/18/2008 to right eye, jaw, leg, back, neck, head, headaches, left ear, psyche, or other body parts as claimed, when WCAB found that …

Little (Derrick) v. W.C.A.B., 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 849

Petitions for Writ of Review—Time to File—Court of Appeal denied petition for writ of review as…

Liu (Johnny) v. W.C.A.B., 77 Cal. Comp. Cases 850

Injury AOE/COE—Post-Termination Claims—WCAB held that applicant’s claim of industrial injury was barred by Labor Code § 3600(a)(10) because applicant did not give employer notice of claim until after he received notice of termination, when WCAB found that …


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