MICHAEL SULLIVAN & ASSOCIATES BLOG

Your Resource for the Latest Legal News, Combined with Insights and Recommendations from Our Attorneys

Urgent Report: DWC Announces In-Person Trials Starting March 21, 2022

Urgent Report: DWC Announces In-Person Trials Starting March 21, 2022

On March 9, 2022, the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) announced that in-person hearings will resume starting March 21, 2022, at almost all of the DWC district offices. The only exceptions are Eureka, which is now a completely virtual office, and satellite locations Bishop, Marysville, Chico and Ukiah, which also will remain virtual.

CMS Warns Against Using 'Non-Submit' and 'Evidence-Based' Medicare Set-Asides

CMS Warns Against Using 'Non-Submit' and 'Evidence-Based' Medicare Set-Asides

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has updated its Workers' Compensation Medicare Set-Aside Arrangement (WCMSA) Reference Guide (Reference Guide). The latest version, Version 3.5, was published Jan. 10, 2022. The Reference Guide was updated to clarify the use of non-CMS-approved products to address future medical care.

California Implements Extended Supplemental Sick Leave

California Implements Extended Supplemental Sick Leave

On Tuesday a deal was struck between Gov. Newsom and California lawmakers to provide a new Supplemental Sick Leave similar to the one that expired on September 30. Those who follow my webinars may recall I predicted this would occur in delayed fashion after the 9/30 expiration (e.g. the March 2021 retroactive extension), but this was well beyond any predicted delay. Although not yet in final form, here are the components we expect:

Establishing Permanent Total Disability with Medical & Vocational Evidence

Establishing Permanent Total Disability with Medical & Vocational Evidence

It has long been recognized that an employee's ability to participate vocational retraining is a significant factor that must be considered in assessing the worker's permanent disability. (LeBoeuf v. WCAB (1983) 48 CCC 587, 597.) An employee's inability to compete in the open labor market could support an award of permanent total disability. Even though vocational rehabilitation was repealed and replaced with the supplemental job displacement benefit, in Ogilvie v. WCAB (2011) 76 CCC 624, the Court of Appeal held that an employee could still rebut a scheduled rating by establishing that he or she was not amenable to rehabilitation.

Special Report: Applied Materials v. WCAB

Special Report: Applied Materials v. WCAB

On June 1, 2021, the 6th Appellate District Court of Appeal certified for publication its decision in Applied Materials et al. v. WCAB.

In that case, the 6th District Court of Appeal issued a lengthy 73-page decision addressing multiple issues raised by the parties. However, the decision is most significant for two issues:

  1. Whether a worker's post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) arising from a treating physician's sexual misconduct is compensable under workers' compensation. It was.
  2. Whether the Fitzpatrick case[1] was wrongly decided. Fitzpatrick was important as it had held that the WCJ may not use LC 4662 on its own to make a finding of total permanent disability. This case and its finding were affirmed.