“Everybody in the Whole Cellblock/Was Hoping the Benefits Won’t Stop”: Workers’ Compensation and Incarcerated Applicants

by Michael P. Burns, Esq.

Many adjusters and defense counsel have run into the following situation at least once: An applicant seems to disappear—he stops treating, misses evaluations, and fails to appear at hearings.  Applicant’s counsel is often at a loss to explain this situation.

Then, the mystery is solved: Applicant has received an all-expenses paid trip to one of California’s correctional institutions—in other words, they’re locked up, and they aren’t getting out anytime soon.

An applicant’s incarceration creates headaches for all parties, in particular, the insurer and defense counsel.  Does the insurer continue to pay indemnity?  Who controls medical treatment?  Does defense counsel have to wait to take applicant’s deposition?

To Treat Or Not To Treat A Non-Industrial Medical Condition (From Fat Farms To Liver Disease)

by Don Barthel, Esq.

"You broke it, you bought it", is a fairly accurate rule of thumb applicable to California's workers' compensation system.  When an industrial accident results in damage to a limb (or neck, or back, or heart, etc), the defense is on the hook to provide all treatment reasonably necessary to cure and/or relieve the effects of that injury.

But can the defense really be liable for the treatment of non-industrial conditions and, if so, when?

The Safety Net: Defending Against Cal/OSHA (Issue 1)

by Dave Jones-Landry, Esq.
After working for a number of years at a firm practicing almost exclusively in the area of occupational safety and health and defending employers against regulatory actions brought by Cal/OSHA, MSHA (the Federal Mine Safety and Health Admin.), and Fed/OSHA, I moved on to join Bradford & Barthel, LLP.  My move into workers’ compensation was smooth and natural, given that a good portion of my practice in occupational safety defense included defending employers against the “serious and willful misconduct” and 132a discrimination claims in the workers’ compensation forum that often accompany claims for catastrophic injuries.

As I became accustomed to work that is more directly associated with compensatory liability, as opposed to regulatory liability, I began to see that my background in regulatory defense could serve as a solid basis for bringing added value to B&Bs existing clientele, as well as to our clients’ clientele – the insured employers themselves.  If there is one thing that was reinforced time and time again in my former practice, it’s that most employers are not aware that there is anyone available to help them defend against Cal/OSHA citations, and indeed, many employers simply are not aware that they can defend against Cal/OSHA citations, or citations issued by other occupational safety regulatory authorities.

Spherical Models

by Don Barthel, Esq.

Bradford & Barthel, LLP is pleased to announce the creation of Spherical Models http://sphericalmodels.com.  Headed up by B&B’s Director of Knowledge, Innovation and Technology Strategies - Eric Hunter http://www.bradfordbarthel.com/profiles/eric-hunter, this business is built to provide thought leadership, consulting and business focusing on spherical business models through innovations in big data, social and collaborative cloud solutions.

“Each collaboration point within varying aspects of business are intersecting and overlapping spheres of communication. The spherical model builds on itself, with continual workflow innovation potential.” - Eric Hunter