Workers Comp Zone


In the next few weeks I’ll focus on the Top 10 Developments in California Workers’ Comp in 2012 as well as featuring my annual quiz on the likely issues for 2013.

And I’ll be taking an in-depth look at the recently unveiled post-SB 863 “emergency” regulations which are currently under consideration with the Office of Administrative Law.

But since the media and the public are currently consumed with discussion of guns, what about guns and workers’ comp?

Practitioners of workers’ comp see some gun violence cases.

I’ve represented tellers who were held up at gunpoint, liquor store clerks who were pistol-whipped, cops and CHP offices injured in gun incidents in the line of duty, as well as a few workers who were injured by gunfire as they just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I’ve had clients who committed suicide with a gun.

I’ve represented muskrat hunters and trappers who had guns as part of their gig.

I recall a client who abducted someone with a gun and then hurled the abducted to death from a bridge above a river. It’s amazing what you sometimes learn about your client as the “discovery process” proceeds.

In another incident, shortly after my client made credible threats to bring an automatic rifle into the local WCAB, airport-type scanner security was adopted.

During last year’s Occupy Oakland protests, one of my partners’ clients was heading to BART from a deposition at our office when an individual was shot in the head and killed in an apparent dispute between two occupiers.

One cannot represent injured workers over a long career without being exposed to some horrific incidents.

Gun violence is a very small part of the workers’ comp pie. But it’s worth consideration.

A serious national debate about this is long overdue.

Like many readers, I live and work in an urban area awash with weapons.

Several blocks away there may be Nobel prize winers and entrepreneurs creating the latest startups. But there are also guys with Uzis and Sig Sauers.

And those street corner guys may not be the ones we fear the most. We are most afraid of the unstable angry ones who surface in schools, theaters, and our public spaces.

Readers who have interesting perspectives and stories about guns and gun violence in the workplace are invited to send them to the blog.

Julius Young

Category: Political developments