Sep
24
2010
0

Annual Meeting of The State Bar of California – Monterey

What has two thumbs and loves to hear itself talk?  THIS GUY!!!

What has two thumbs and loves to hear itself talk? THIS GUY!!!

There was a great turn out this morning to the “How to Obtain an Accurate PD Rating with the AMA Guides” put on by the Workers’ Compensation Section of the State Bar.  We covered a lot of ground in just two hours, from the DEU perspective presented by Annalisa Faina and Barry Knight entitled “Anatomy of Rating”, to Mark Gearheart’s “Substantial Medical Evidence to Support a Permanent Disability Rating,” and my own presentation on “Litigating Ogilvie.”  There was a lively discussion on the state of Almaraz/Guzman, Blackledge, and Ogilvie. [1][2]

Thanks to everyone who e-mailed me asking for the cases cited during our presentations.  I’ll be uploading them shortly.

Tonight is the “2010 Steve Jimenez Special Recognition Awards” honoring:

  • Lifetime Achievement: The Honorable Pamela Foust (Ret.)
  • Judge of the Year: The Honorable Jorja FrankHon. Jorja Frank
  • Applicant Attorney of the Year: Marc Marcus
  • Defense Attorney of the Year: Michael Marks

If you’re attending tonight, please stop me and say hello!  (I’ve got a name tag and everything)

  1. Lively as in “barely civil” []
  2. I’m kidding! []
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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