News Digest 5-6-2021

Northern California rice mill employee gets probation, fine for workers’ comp fraud
A 29-year-old rice grader who received workers’ compensation has been sentenced and fined, according to the California Department of Insurance, after co-employees reported seeing her working as a bartender, according to state records. Sacramento Bee

Minnesota insurers argue medical cannabis not covered
Two workers’ compensation insurers argued in the Minnesota Supreme Court this week the federal prohibition on cannabis prevents workers’ compensation insurance from covering the drug for injured employees’ pain relief. One insurer’s attorney sought to characterize medical cannabis as untested and dangerous, beyond the scope of a workers’ comp program’s responsibilities in any scenario. Courthouse News Service

South Dakota teacher agrees to $500K workers’ compensation settlement
A Watertown, South Dakota kindergarten teacher and her attorney will get $500,000 from a school board workers’ compensation fund resulting from a 2017 claim in connection with her leg injury, which resulted from a student throwing a chair at her. The teacher was hospitalized for 17 days and had to use wheelchair and walker outside the home, according to the claim. Watertown Public Opinion

New TPA law covers workers’ comp in Washington State
Washington has recently adopted legislation that will impose new licensing and other regulatory requirements on workers’ compensation third party administrators that contract with one or more self-insured employers to handle their claims, according to three Polsinelli attorneys. Effective July 1, 2021, all TPAs administering workers’ compensation business for self-insured employers must be licensed by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. JD Supra

Colorado workers’ compensation system reform clears major hurdle
One final change will speed the care that injured employees get, but it’s not enough to calm business fears about increased costs and time of care. Denver Business Journal [may require registration]