Workers Comp Zone


Don’t hold your breath.

Words of wisdom from the WCAB.

From the Al-Ron show. Al Moresi and Ronnie Caplane to be exact.

Those 2 WCAB commissioners were doing a roadshow presentation at the Shell Beach seminar sponsored by the State Bar Workers’ Comp section.

The following is my paraphrasing of some selective pearls (not a comprehensive report) I gleaned from their talk, which was laced with humorous banter. As a disclaimer, note that many of these remarks were off the cuff and readers of the blog should NOT assume that these comments reflect WCAB thinking as a whole:

Moresi and Caplane:
don’t hold your breath for a quick disposition on Almaraz, Guzman
and Ogilvie; the WCAB holds judicial sessions 2 times a week but
soon will be running into “some vacation issues”. This is true for
the en banc Weiner vs. Ralphscase that will deal with voc rehab, also

the WCAB revceived 454 pages of briefs on Almaraz/Guzman;

whatever your position on Almaraz, etc., you can’t say that the
WCAB does sloppy work; a lot of effort went into that decision

The WCAB still sees a lot of apportionment cases; under Gatten you
don’t need a lot to find apportionment.

She talked with CWCI President Mike Nolan. Medical costs are
rising. It’s like the game whack-a-mole. Despite UR and treatment
guidelines, doctors may be scheduling more treatments and more
frequent visits

Sandhagen and the UR process & 4062 continues to be an issue
that keeps coming up

Also noted as coming up:
-issues regarding the 2nd surgical opinion procedure
-MPN issues and escaping the MPN; if defendant provided treatment
somewhere, does that cure MPN notice problems

It was noted that “Very few mistakes are fatal to getting the applicant in the MPN”

Also: the new QME regs address many of the QME problems which had been coming up in cases (30 days to get the report done, need to object to delayed reports before the report is mailed, etc etc).

On COLAS: the XYZZ case which found that COLA increases are computed from the first January 1st after the date of injury. Moresi:
the result seems appropriate because otherwise the COLA does not protect against inflation over the years

On the 15% bump up/down, there are panels interpreting this various ways. Some on the board are strict constructionists on the bump up/down and some are looking for a practical approach on the issue

Moresi: we do send cases back sometimes to further develop the record under the Tyler case; but where both sides are represented by competent counsel, the board does not see it as their duty to do this as a matter of course

These two have a great comedic timing together. It’s a pleasure to catch their roadshow.

Julius Young

Category: Political developments