Jul
18
2011
0

Workers’ Compensation Specialization Boot Camp

Boot Camp

Boot Camp

The Workers’ Compensation Specialization Boot Camp on July 16 and 17 in Los Angeles was a packed house. [1]  If you missed out, there’s another chance to attend on July 30 and 31 in Concord.

If you did attend the seminar in Los Angeles, I promised you a copy of all of the cases cited during the presentation on Permanent Disability.  Here’s the basic outline along with a download link for every case I cited:

  1. Permanent Disability
    1. Cal. Labor Code. Section 4660
    2. LeBoeuf v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd.
    3. Costa v. Hardy
    4. Almaraz/Guzman “II”
    5. Guzman “III”
    6. Ogilvie “II”
    7. (Updated 7/29/2011!) Ogilvie v. City and County of San Francisco, Court of Appeal, A126344, A126427
      1. Read a summary of Ogilvie III here!
    8. Argonaut Ins. v. Ind. Acc. Comm (Montana)
  2. Psychiatric Injuries
    1. Cal. Labor Code Section 3208.3
    2. Dept. of Corrections v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd. (Garcia)
  3. Apportionment
    1. Cal. Labor Code Section 4662
    2. Cal. Labor Code Section 4663
    3. Cal. Labor Code Section 4664
    4. Cal. Labor Code Section 3213 – 3213.2
    5. Escobedo v. Marshall’s
    6. Benson v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd.
    7. Brodie / Welcher
  4. Rating
    1. Blackledge v. Bank of America
    2. Policy & Procedures Manual of the WCAB
  5. (Updated 7/18/2011!) Flash Card Take Away
    1. Please register for a free account with PDRater.com to download this file.
    2. Seriously – free as in free.  There’s no charge, no credit card anything.
  1. Permanent Disability

    1. Cal Labor Code § 4660

    1. Description of disability

    1. 1997 Permanent Disability Rating Schedule

      1. Rebutting the 1997 Permanent Disability Rating Schedule

      1. LeBeouf

    1. 2005 Permanent Disability Rating Schedule

      1. Permanent Impairment

      1. Rebutting the 2005 Permanent Disability Rating Schedule

      1. Costa/Harding

      1. Almaraz/Guzman II

      1. Guzman “III”

      1. Ogilvie II

  1. Photo courtesy of jumpinjimmyjava []
Aug
19
2010
0

Guzman is affirmed by the 6th Appellate!

The end for Milpitas USD?

The end for Milpitas USD?

Update: Download Milpitas United School District v. WCAB and Guzman, 6th Appellate District Court H034853, ADJ3341185, SJO0254688!

Looks like Milpitas Unified School District v. WCAB and Guzman is here to stay. [1] The 6th Appellate Court has just affirmed the WCAB’s decision in full.

Where does this leave us?  Well, under “Almaraz/Guzman II” we need to get a “strict AMA” and either side can obtain an “Almaraz/Guzman II” opinion from the doctors based upon rebuttal evidence, with the Judge being the final arbiter.

What else does this mean?  I’m probably going to break my personal record for the most doctor depositions in a single month.

Click here for more in depth coverage of Guzman!

  1. Photo courtesy of funkandjazz []
Sep
04
2009
1

Ogilvie II, Almaraz/Guzman II – Reader Digest Versions

Ogilvie and Almaraz/Guzman - lets cut to the chase

Ogilvie and Almaraz/Guzman - let's cut to the chase

First off, if you haven’t already downloaded Ogilvie II and Almaraz/Guzman II, do so now!

As I mentioned previously, each of these cases is about 50 pages long, so there is clearly no substitute for reading them for yourself.  However, here’s Ogilvie II and Almaraz/Guzman II in five sentences:[1]

  • Ogilvie v. WCAB II:
    • The WCAB ruled the original Ogilvie (I) formula is still valid.
    • The WCAB appears to have created a right to reopen a case for “individualized proportional earnings loss.”
    • Vocational testimony is not an appropriate way to dispute the DFEC portion of the 2005 Permanent Disability Rating Schedule.
    • (Bonus Dissent Summary: The lone dissent by Caplane says that vocational testimony should be considered proper rebuttal to an entire permanent disability rating.)
  • Almaraz/Guzman II:
    • The WCAB ruled that a doctor must issue reports within the “four corners” of the AMA Guides 5th Edition to comply with Labor Code Section 4660(c). [2]
    • However, either party may obtain rebuttal evidence in the form of supplemental reports and depositions regarding the use of any other chapter, method, or table within the AMA Guides.
    • (Bonus Dissent Summary:  The dissenting opinion from Brass, Caplane, and Moresi says they would affirm their decision in Almaraz/Guzman I.)

What do these cases mean for the practitioner?

  • The WCAB has created a new right to reopen for a higher than expected “individualized proportional earnings loss.”
  • The Ogilvie Mathematical Proof of 18 Point Add-Ons still stands.
  • I see even more doctor depositions in my future.
  • My phone is going to be ringing off the hook tomorrow.
  1. Photo courtesy of Scallop Holden []
  2. Here, the phrase “four corners of the AMA Guides” just means the parties are restricted to the actual text of the AMA Guides and cannot use analogies and evidence from outside the AMA Guides. []
Sep
03
2009
7
Mar
23
2009
0

How has Almaraz/Guzman changed workers’ compensation?

AMA Guides 5th Ed.

AMA Guides 5th Ed.

Clearly, Almaraz/Guzman has been a boon to the U.S. Postal Service.  I’ve been receiving Almaraz/Guzman letters from Applicant attorneys on my files ever since the en banc decision came out.  These letters typically fall into one of three categories:

  1. Increased demands for settlement
  2. Demands for additional discovery per Almaraz/Guzman
  3. Letters to the PQME/AME requesting their opinions on impairment outside the AMA Guidelines to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Fifth Edition

I’ve also heard of some doctors completely abandoning the AMA Guidelines to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Fifth Edition, in favor of just analogizing impairment.  This is not what was intended by the en banc panel in WCAB in Almaraz/Guzman.

Here’s what Almaraz/Guzman means for workers’ compensation practitioners:

So, remember:

  1. Whether you agree with the AMA Guides or the 2005 PDRS they’re still the law of the land and must be addressed.
  2. Whether you agree with Almaraz/Guzman, it’s still good law and must be addressed.
  3. Almaraz/Guzman does not absolve a doctor from the responsibility to generate a medical report which addresses the AMA Guides and constitutes substantial medical evidence.

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