Commercial Traveler Rule Blocks Civil Lawsuit

The parents of a worker killed while traveling for work cannot sue her employer for wrongful death. The Third District Court of Appeal held that the Workers’ Compensation Act’s exclusivity provision covers the claim under the commercial traveler rule. While it does not make new law, the details provide nonlawyers insight into it. The case … Read More »

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Criminal Charges Against Garment Manufacturer & Labor Contractor

The Los Angeles County District Attorney filed criminal charges against the owner of a garment manufacturing business and the labor contractor that supplied workers. These charges were brought under a relatively new joint liability law that applies to wage theft and workers’ compensation. State officials also say it is the first prosecution to use newly … Read More »

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Attorney Fee Fight In WCAB’s “Grant For Study” Case

The Second District Court of Appeal seems set to adopt a tentative ruling “commanding” the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board to end its long-standing “grant for study” process. Now the question turns to the issue of attorneys’ fees. The 2nd DCA ordered the parties to file supplemental briefs concerning whether or not fees are warranted under … Read More »

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Will California Expand Employers’ Duty Of Care

The California Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that could create a new liability for employers. It could hold employers liable for secondhand or derivative injuries to an employee’s family and others. Employers warn of an “avalanche of litigation” if the court so determines, while the plaintiff’s attorneys maintain that burden of proof … Read More »

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Tiered Rating Class Action Settled

State Compensation Insurance Fund agreed to put up $65 million to settle class action lawsuits over its tiered rating system filed by Michael Reynolds Enterprise, American Jetter & Plumbing, and Reliance Treatment Center. The settlement also limits the carrier’s ability to file future tier ratings and modifiers under a cloak of confidentiality with the California … Read More »

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Formal Appeal Prompts Reclassification

The administrative law judges at the California Department of Insurance’s Administrative Hearing Bureau resolve disputes between employers and workers’ comp carriers and/or the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau. Cases don’t always have to go to trial to get a positive result for an employer. Sometimes filing a formal appeal is enough to resolve the dispute … Read More »

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AG Seeks Rehearing In Loss On AB 5 Challenge

California Attorney General Rob Bonta is petitioning the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal for a panel rehearing or an en banc review of the court’s March decision to reinstate a constitutional challenge to AB 5 (for past coverage, see Courts Revive…). The petition takes on national importance as Congress considers the ProAct, legislation similar to … Read More »

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Med-Legal Costs Up 50% Since Fee Schedule Change

The Division of Workers’ Compensation billed its update to California’s med-legal fee schedule (MLFS) as a 25% boost to payments for qualified medical evaluators (QMEs). But when reality set in, med-legal costs spiked by 39% in the first year and continued to climb into the second year. The overall result is a 50% increase in … Read More »

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