Workers Comp Zone


We’re heading to mid-summer.

Many of us have more interest in the ice cream flavors at the shop down the road than we do in what workers’ comp cases are up on a writ or when that think tank is releasing another study.

Gotta hand it to California. We are cutting edge here. My favorite local shop in Berkeley is now into herbal and spice based ice creams. Allspice. Lemon Thyme. Bay Leaf.

But if you’re reading this space instead of Wiki-leaked documents about treacherous Pakistani double dealing, you must be hard core.

And so you’ll want to know that Joe Matthews sees another workers’ comp reform coming.

Mathews is an astute observer. Those who never read his history of the Schwarzenegger recall of Gray Davis might want to pick up a copy. That’s “The People’s Machine: Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Rise of Blockbuster Democracy”: … 1586482726

After all, you should know a little history. Who were the carrot people, after all? They are still very much around.

Mathews, a former L.A. Times reporter, is now a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and the author of “California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It”.

Mathews notes that there are four major legs to the workers’ comp table.

Employers are one leg, of course. Insurers are another. Medical providers are a third leg. Labor and the attorneys who represent workers are a fourth leg.

Mathews observes that six years after the 2004 reforms:
“the aggrieved parties are injured workers and medical providers who have found it difficult to get paid.”

Continuing, Matthews claims that :
“they have a third leg of the four- legged stool joining them; insurers have seen a big decline in their premiums (for reasons that are disputed). Only businesses remain happy.”

Since I started doing the blog I’ve had a number of employer lobbyists assure me that employers and insurers were joined at the hip, happy with the reforms and in constant contact.

That embrace may be starting to sour a bit.

Stay tuned.

Soon I”ll be posting about the Top 10 Developments in California Comp in the 1st half of 2010. I’ll also be covering the 6th District Court of Appeal Decision in Guzman which will likely be coming down shortly.
And I’ll be making an announcement about a major new project I’m involved in.

Here’s a link to the Joe Mathews piece: … 75014.html

Julius Young

Category: Political developments