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STAND UP AND CHEER: Plenary Power Rules!!

January 18, 2018 Ok, maybe not cheer but at least understand the latest dagger in the constitutional challenges of the state’s Independent Medical Review (IMR) process.  California’s constitutional “plenary power” is a power that has been granted to a body, or person, in absolute terms, with no review of, or limitations upon the exercise of that power. The workers’ compensation reforms for 2013 included a method of allowing the injured worker, not the defendant, to challenge a determination of medical […]

GENETIC DISPOSITION: Heredity and the Law of Apportionment The Case of City of Jackson v. Rice

April 27, 2017 When Senate Bill 899 (SB 899) was enacted in 2004, it sent shockwaves through the workers’ compensation system. As vocational rehabilitation went the way of the dinosaur, so too did a long-standing legal theory regarding causation and apportionment to pre­existing conditions. Prior to SB 899, apportionment could not be based on causation. However, SB 899 changed that forever, opening the door for such decisions as Escobedo, the tenets of which are an integral part of the fabric […]

WCAB – Maxham v. Calif. Dept. of Corrections en banc decision of 1/23/17

January 25, 2017 On January 23, 2017, the WCAB issued the en banc decision of Maxham v. Calif. Dept. of Corrections, clarifying the definition of “information” and “communication” in Labor Code §4062.3. The issue of communicating with agreed medical evaluators and panel qualified medical evaluators is governed by the timelines and rules in §4062.3. In the case of Maxham, defendants objected to applicant’s advocacy letters to three AMEs. Applicant sent the letters to the AMEs over defendants’ objections. Defendants filed […]