AMA Selects Don Barthel

AMA Selects Don Barthel
by Mark Fletcher, Esq.
It was recently announced that Don Barthel's name was submitted to the American Medical Association as potential expert reviewer of the AMA Guides (6th edition), which is scheduled for publication in late 2007. That nomination received the AMA's approval on April 21, 2006, when Guides' Senior Developmental Editor Nancy Baker announced Mr. Barthel had been "selected as a reviewer due to [his] recognized expertise and knowledge in [his] field."

Epilogue: Keep California Out of the Bedroom!

Epilogue: Keep California Out of the Bedroom!
by Mark Fletcher, Esq.
 
In our last issue in the article entitled Keep California Out of the Bedroom, we discussed numerous strategies to defeat CAAA's plans to make you overpay permanent disability. We learned that a recent CAAA convention was used to unveil strategies to misapply sleep disorders and other AMA-based impairments in order to increase impairment ratings.



 



 
In particular, CAAA has focused on:
  1. Obstructive sleep apnea and hypersensitivity pneumonitis
    (Chapter 5, Respiratory System)
  2. Sleep arousal disorders
    (Chapter 13, Central and Peripheral Nervous System)
  3. Painful Conditions
    (Chapter 18, Pain)

WCAB Nixes Apportionment Efforts

WCAB Nixes Apportionment Efforts
by Don Barthel, Esq.
The WCAB, in its 2/27/06 en banc decision, Pasquotto v. Hayward Lumber, WCC 31452006, dramatically gutted the applicability of Labor Code §4664's apportionment tools. Labor Code §4664, one of California's two apportionment statutes, provides, in part:

"If the applicant has received a prior award of permanent disability, it shall be conclusively presumed that the prior permanent disablity exists at the time of any subsequent industrial injury."

At issue in Pasquotto was whether an Order Approving a Compromise and Release is a "prior award of permanent disability." The WCAB unanimously held that it could not be, at least not "without more...", thereby robbing employers of Labor Code §4664 apportionment when the injured employee's prior industrial injury was resolved via a Compromise and Release rather than a Findings and Award or Stipulated Award.