One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: The Catastrophic Effects of SB 899 and SB 863 on Catastrophic Injuries
JOAN M. SUCCA, WCJ (RET.)
San Francisco, California
Disclaimer: The views presented in this article are strictly those of the author and do not represent the views, opinions, or policies of DIR or DWC.
As a former defense attorney, I can attest that it was a well-known practice decades ago that workers’ compensation insurance companies often withheld benefits to injured workers, hoping to eventually obtain a closed file for as little money as possible. The carriers found that delaying or denying benefits long enough, or doing so repeatedly, would induce frustrated injured workers to settle their workers’ compensation cases for a fraction of their actual value. Many believe this type of conduct contributed to the enactment of the 1989 Margolin-Bill Greene Workers’ Compensation Reform Act. The purpose of this act, in part, was to establish strict guidelines for timely payments of indemnity benefits, thus preventing defendants from unreasonably delaying or denying such payments.