New York Sets Boundaries: How to Calculate Schedule Loss of Use of the Shoulder in 2018

The New York Appellate Division has provided direction on what constitutes an improper calculation of the schedule loss of use of a shoulder. In Matter of Maloney v. Wende Correctional Facility, 2018 WL 456207 (January 18, 2013), the claimant injured his right shoulder as a result of a work related accident on July 30, 2013. The claimant’s treating physician rendered a permanency finding of 90 percent schedule loss of use
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Proposed Rules Aimed at Addressing Opioid Epidemic and its Impact on North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Claims Continue to Progress

As the opioid epidemic continues to sweep the country, the North Carolina Industrial Commission has taken notice. In February 2017, Chairman Charlton Allen established an Opioid Task Force aimed at finding solutions to address the opioid epidemic and the impact on workers’ compensation claims. Late last year, the Industrial Commission published draft rules for public comment on the utilization of opioids and pain management in workers’ compensation claims. On January
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Will the Recently Issued Sessions Memorandum Have a Chilling Effect on States’ Plan for Legalization of Medical and Recreational Marijuana?

During the Obama administration, a memorandum issued by then deputy attorney general James M. Cole in 2013 dealt with the issue of federal prosecution of alleged crimes involving marijuana in states where it was a legal substance either for medical use, recreational use, or both. The memo seems to grant broad latitude to exercise prosecutorial discretion in states where marijuana had been legalized. The memo was interpreted as a hands-off
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Dealing with Testimony in a Virtual Hearing

As the virtual roll-out continues and more locations have become virtual, the bugs are getting worked out. We have appeared virtually on several occasions and have had only one day of delays due to technical issues. There are some types of hearings and scenarios that the virtual process is ready-made to address: C-8.1 hearings for minor treatment disputes, production hearings that will only be adjourned for depositions, and a Reserved
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The C-3: Often Overlooked as a Major Tool for Important Defenses

Oftentimes the C‑3 is overlooked as a possible tool to use against the claimant, but there are a few ways the C‑3 can be used to bolster a few major defenses, including violation of Workers’ Compensation Law Section 114(a). First, a C‑3 can be used during the initial investigation of the file. If at the time of the initial investigation of the claim, a C-3 has not yet been submitted,
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Pre-Hearing Conference Statement Crackdowns Throughout New York

Throughout New York State, we are starting to notice the Law Judges becoming extremely strict on the content placed on the carrier’s Pre-Hearing Conference Statements which accompany claim denials.  Where Law Judges used to be lenient, they are now requiring more detailed information regarding the denial and the employer witnesses who will be called to testify — and in some cases precluding witnesses due to lack of necessity or vagueness
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Tips for a Safe and Successful Year

The start of a new year is the perfect time to review your list of panel providers. Make certain that your list meets the requirements of at least six designated health care providers. At least three of the providers must be physicians and no more than four can be a coordinated care organization. At least one provider on the list must be a chiropractor. The list must include the names,
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Leafing Through Medicinal Marijuana Updates

Since the spring of 2017, there has been an addition to the list of qualifying conditions eligible for medical marijuana. There has also been an increase in the number of patients and providers eligible and registered under the program. This post will serve as an update on the issue and how to “weed” through the options for denials in New York State workers’ compensation claims. The most recent list of
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Luck Favors the Prepared: Reducing Exposure and Expense with a Thorough Initial Claims Investigation

The importance of thoroughly investigating a claim at its inception cannot be overly stressed. Whether a case is accepted or controverted, a thorough investigation is necessary to be prepared to raise all defenses at the first hearing to set the case on a course to the least exposure and the most cost-effective management of liability. In the event a case is accepted, a thorough investigation entails getting a detailed reporting
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The How-To’s of Virtual Hearings

New York State has recently revealed that it will be implementing a virtual hearing procedure for all workers’ compensation hearings. The roll-out of the virtual hearing process began in November and is already in place in select downstate hearing points and is making its way to Binghamton and other upstate hearing locations in the very near future. The virtual hearing process allows (read: strongly encourages) claimants, attorneys, licensed representatives, and
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