Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission Issues Important Update to Professional Guidelines Regarding One-Time Evaluations and Second Opinions

On August 29, 2019, Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) Chairman Stephen M. Morelli issued Memorandum No. 2019-07 regarding updates to the Professional Guide for Attorneys, Physicians, and Other Health Care Practitioners Guidelines for Cooperation. Specifically, the memorandum highlights changes to the Professional Guide with respect to one-time medical evaluations and second opinions.

By way of background, the Professional Guide is a guidance document produced by the Workers’ Compensation Commission intended to improve the interaction between attorneys, physicians, and other health care professionals in the …

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North Carolina Court of Appeals Affirms Industrial Commission’s Denial of Bellwether Cases

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently affirmed the Industrial Commission’s denial of claims, collectively known as the bellwether cases, that constituted a small portion of 144 consolidated workers’ compensation claims.

Specifically, Walter Hinson, decedent-employee, worked for Continental Tire the Americas at its factory in Charlotte, North Carolina. The decedent’s estate alleged that his employment exposed him to levels of harmful airborne asbestos sufficient to cause asbestos-related disease. In addition to the decedent’s estate, approximately 143 other employees and/or estates similarly alleged occupational exposure to …

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Connecticut Legislative Update: Workers’ Compensation Coverage Expanded for Some First Responders

In a rare legislative change to Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Law, Gov. Ned Lamont recently signed into law Senate Bill No. 164 (Public Act 19-17), which expands workers’ compensation coverage for some first responders who experience mental or emotional impairment following certain traumatic events experienced in the line of duty. Specifically, the bill allows for police officers, firefighters, and parole officers that have been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. In order to be eligible for benefits, the first …

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Conflict Over Neutral Risk Work Injuries

Neutral risk injuries have become a contentious topic in Illinois Workers’ Compensation law. In Illinois Senate Bill 12, the legislature attempted to codify recent trends that courts have taken by calling for an analysis of whether an injured worker’s employment quantitatively or qualitatively contributes to a neutral risk to determine a compensable injury. The First District Appellate Court of Illinois applied these factors in Noonan v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission and determined that a neutral risk is compensable where the employee proves he was qualitatively …

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Do it Right or Pay the Price (of Medical Bills)

When an injured worker receives a medically necessary treatment, the employer or insurance carrier is responsible for payment of the treatment when the claim has been accepted or established. See NYCRR section 325-1.25. However, when the treatment is not medically necessary or under the Medical Treatment Guidelines, the carrier can object by filing the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board C-8.1 form (a copy should go to the WCB, the employee, their representative and the health provider). Unfortunately, if the objection is late or improperly …

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Maryland Statutes of Limitation are Not Liberally Construed in Favor of the Claimant

Bonnie Miller v. Jacobs Technology, Inc.[1] , an unreported case handed down from the Court of Special Appeals earlier this year is unequivocal in its holding that the all statutes of limitation in the Workers’ Compensation Act will not be liberally construed in favor of the claimant.

In Bonnie Miller v. Jacobs Technology, Inc., the claimant sustained an accidental injury on September 29, 2011 and filed a claim with the commission in October 2011. The claim was not contested by the employer and an …

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New York Workers’ Compensation Full Board Issues Decision Regarding WCL Section 15(3)(w) and the Classification Caps

The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board recently issued a decision in Matter of Jacobi Med. Ctr., No. 00825967, 2019 WL 645558 (N.Y. Work. Comp. Bd. Feb. 11, 2019) ruling that a claimant is only entitled to benefits for the duration of the capped period, regardless of surgeries subsequent to the time of classification.

In this case, the claimant was classified pursuant to a February 8, 2012 decision at a 50 percent loss of wage earning capacity, entitling the claimant to 300 weeks of …

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New Year, New Compensation Rates!

Every year, the Maryland legislature mandates the Workers’ Compensation Commission to determine the maximum compensation rates for the state Average Weekly Wage. The Department of Labor and Licensing Regulation computes the state Average Weekly Wage and provides that figure to the Commission for consideration of compensation rates for the fiscal year. This year, the Average Weekly Wage of workers covered by Maryland Unemployment is $1,116.00, an increase of 2% from 2018.

The increase in Maryland’s Average Weekly Wage does not affect the maximum compensation rates …

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Don’t Strike Out! Coverage Needed for Traveling Professional Athletes

Consider the following scenario: an applicant filed a claim against the Arizona Diamondbacks for a date of injury of April 1, 2000 through June 1, 2010. The claim was filed August of 2018. He traveled to the state of California to play the Dodgers on six occasions throughout his entire professional baseball career. We first consider how we can combat these types of claims in the state of California.

As of October 8, 2013, AB 1309 was approved by the governor of California. Labor Code …

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The Gig is Up: Couriers in the Gig Economy are not Employees in New York

The gig economy is an example of the changing workforce in our society. With that change comes the challenge of determining the employment status, under the law, of couriers who perform services in the gig economy. The appellate court in New York State recently tackled that challenge in Vega v. Postmates Inc., 162 A.D.3d 1337 (3d. Dept. 2018) and held that such couriers are not employees for the purpose of unemployment insurance benefits. Even though this claim pertained to unemployment insurance benefits, the Third …

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