Oh, no! I made a mistake! Petitions to Set-Aside

by Randall P. Stoddard (June 21, 2016)

I recently attended the Workers’ Compensation Section 2016 Spring Conference at the State Bar of California. One speaker, the Honorable Judge Cliff Levy, presented “Oops: Mistakes, Errors, and Petitions to Set-Aside.” His insights are well worth sharing.

As careful as we are, some mistakes are bound to happen. The mistake may be clerical. Other times, it may be more egregious. In any case, it is good to know the proper procedure for correcting errors. It is important to understand how to properly petition to set aside an Award, Order, etc. and how to lay an evidentiary foundation supporting such a petition.

Kite Fighting

by Sean W. Morrisroe (June 7, 2016)

Kite fighting, practiced primarily in the East and Brazil, involves attempting to cut your opponent’s line, or ground their kite, to achieve victory and win their paper aircraft. A different kind of kite fighting is taking place in California workers’ compensation evaluations: doctor depositions and trials.

In the Kite case, EBMUB, Athens Administrators v. Kite (2013) 78 CCC 213 (writ denied), Richard Kite injured both hips, resulting in bilateral hip replacements. The panel QME found 20% WPI for each post-surgical hip. The QME discussed in detail the “synergistic effect” of one hip injury or the other, concluding the most accurate description of injury would result from simple addition, rather than combining the disability. The WCAB upheld the WCJ: the Court of Appeal denied defendants’ writ. Of course this departure from the Combined Values Chart cost defendants more PD. Understandably, applicant’s attorneys now frequently ask med-legal evaluators to apply Kite.