by John P. Kamin (April 28, 2015)

The WCAB ruled it does not have jurisdiction over a former professional football player’s cumulative trauma claim because he failed to prove his injuries were “legitimately connected” to the seven games he played in California during his four-year career, per a new panel decision: Boulware v. Houston Texans, ADJ6939007.

The Appeals Board applied the 2nd District Court of Appeal’s decision in Federal Insurance Co. v. WCAB (Johnson). In Johnson, the court determined that California lacked jurisdiction over a cumulative trauma claim filed by a former WNBA player who had played one game in California during her basketball career.

This established the rule that a professional athlete must demonstrate more than a “de minimis connection” between the work injury and the games played in California, in order for California to have jurisdiction.

Ensuring Settlement Payments Reach the Right Parties

by Michael P. Burns (April 27, 2015)

In California worker’s compensation, defendants are typically held responsible for the negligence of applicants and their attorneys. Trusting them to provide correct information can be costly.

A case that brilliantly illustrates the foregoing is Barrett Business Services, Inc. v. Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (204 Cal. App. 4th 597).

Panel requests go online: What could possibly go wrong?

by Ryan T. Alves (April 21, 2015)

On April 3rd the Department of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) issued a notice of public hearing for QME regulations. That hearing is set for 10 a.m. May 22, 2015 in Oakland (for those of you passionate enough about the panel process to attend). The full notice may be found at:  http://www.dir.ca.gov/DIRNews/2015/2015-28.pdf.

The new regulations are designed to implement an online process for represented initial panel requests. Anybody who has been along for the bumpy ride that has been EAMS might reasonably be concerned about a new online process (in spite of the promised efficiency gains). So, keeping in mind that all we have at the moment is a draft, let’s take a stroll through the proposed regulations to see what the new process is likely to look like.