“High Anxiety” for Carriers: Medical Marijuana Progressing in New York

For New York workers’ compensation carriers, the budding industry of medical marijuana will likely provide an interesting new set of challenges and concerns in the administration of treatment for eligible patients and injured workers. The growing trend across the United States has recently been towards expansion of medical marijuana programs — and as of March 31, 2017, approximately 28 states, including New York, have legalized some form of medical marijuana
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Should Adjusters Consider Using Vocational Reports to Achieve Better Loss of Wage Earning Capacity Findings?

A hot topic at many workers’ compensation hearing locations is permanency: When will it become ripe? What evidence needs to be produced by the parties? How can we ensure the law judge will make a reasonable decision regarding loss of wage earning capacity? This is when the use of vocational reports comes into play. In simple terms, loss of wage earning capacity (LOWEC) is the reduction in an injured workers’ earning
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If the “Last Act” to Trigger Employment Occurred Outside N.C., The Claim May Not Be Compensable

A recent decision by the Court of Appeals of North Carolina highlights, in the context of workers’ compensation claims, the importance of where the “last act” necessary to form an employment contract occurred — particularly for companies that draw workers from other states. The good news for employers is: If that step was taken outside North Carolina, the employer may have a jurisdictional defense. In Holmes v. Associated Pipe Line
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Medical Marijuana Found Compensable in Connecticut

The Compensation Review Board (CRB) in Connecticut found medical marijuana to be reasonable and necessary medical treatment, and thus, compensable in Petrini v. Marcus Dairy, Inc., 6021 CRB-7-15-7 (May 12, 2016). It is black letter law that “reasonable and necessary” medical care is curative or remedial. “Curative or remedial care is that which seeks to repair the damage to health caused by the job even if not enough health is
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Lessons from Daniel

On August 2, 2016, the Appellate Division upheld a Judge of Compensation’s denial of a petitioner’s motion for medical treatment and temporary disability benefits. In upholding the Division’s decision, the Appellate Division agreed that the petitioner had not met his burden of proof that the need for surgery arose from and was causally connected with the same trauma complained of in the original claim petition. Daniel v. United Arlines, No.
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Legislative Branch Provides Protection to Municipalities from Preclusion: Requires Workers to Send Notice of Claims to Town Clerk

Public Act No. 16-112 amends Section 31-294c, which requires a municipal employee/dependent who files a claim for benefits to send a copy of the written notice of the claim (Form 30C/Form 30D) to the town clerk of the municipality where the employee works. Before the Act, written notice could be sent to almost anyone in a municipality, which created the risk of the claim not being responded to in a
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Paid Vacation Weeks Should Be Included in Total Gross Wages and Number of Weeks Worked When Calculating Average Weekly Wages

Generally, the average weekly wages (AWW) equals total gross wages from the 52 weeks prior to the injury, divided by the number of calendar weeks the claimant was employed during that 52-week time period. C.G.S. §31-310. When making the calculation, we do not include absences of seven or more consecutive calendar days or partial weeks worked either at the beginning of employment or on the week of injury. Id. However,
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Co-Employee Liability under Missouri Law

The 2012 amendments to the Workers’ Compensation Law sought to bring clarity to the scope of co-employee liability for work injuries. The exclusivity provision of the law now provides: “…every employer and employees of such employer shall be released from all other liability whatsoever, whether to the employee or any other person, except that an employee shall not be released from liability for injury or death if the employee engaged
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Appellate Division Provides Clarity: Medical Expenses are Recoverable by Workers’ Compensation Carriers under Section 40

The Appellate Division issued a published decision on August 24, 2016 confirming the right of workers’ compensation insurers to recover medical expenses from the proceeds of any recovery the worker obtains from a third-party tortfeasor under Section 40 of the Workers’ Compensation Act, N.J.S.A. 34:15-40. The decision, Lambert v. Travelers Indemnity Co. of America, No. A-1073-14T3, __ N.J. Super. __, __ (App. Div. 2016), offers welcome clarity concerning reimbursement of
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