California Lawyers Association

Workers’ Comp eNews

Articles from the monthly enews of the Workers’ Compensation Section

February 2024 CLA Workers’ Compensation Executive Committee Chairman and Master of Ceremonies for the Annual Awards Reception, John Parente, welcomes the honorees and guests and introduces incoming Chairwoman, the Honorable Presiding Judge Sharon Velzy, along with CLA WC Section Manager Tiffany Creswell, presenting the awards to the honorees. Presiding Judge Robert T. Hjelle is recognized for his distinguished career of public service to his nation and the California Judiciary as the CLA WC Section’s Judge of the Year.  Saro Kerkonian,… Read more
“It is appropriate that evaluating physicians consider the vocational evidence as part of their determination of permanent disability, including factors such as whether an injured worker is feasible for vocational rehabilitation (Ogilvie, supra). We note that neither AME was provided the reports from the parties' vocational experts to review.” (emphasis supplied) Read more
At the California legislature in 2023, who were winners and who were losers? Before the year fades, a recap is in order. Overall, it was not a year for big workers’ comp bills. The workers’ comp bills that passed and were signed are largely niche bills. For non-workers’ comp bill affecting California workers, union-sponsored bills had some notable success but some bills failed as well. Workers’ comp winners this year included the following: Read more
Interpreters play a prominent role in the multi-lingual realm of the California workers’ compensation system, and determining the rate of compensation for interpreting services remains a highly litigated issue. Read more
Judge Frank Hsu Yen has logged almost two years as a Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) for the Division of Workers Compensation (DWC) in Pomona.  Prior to his appointment, Judge Yen was a staff attorney for State Compensation Insurance Fund in Pleasanton for eight years where he made appearances at DWC Oakland.  When Judge Yen was ready for a career change, he made the decision to return to Southern California after spending over a decade in the Bay Area.  Read more
It is with a sense of deep appreciation and thanks to my colleagues on the California Lawyers Association Workers’ Compensation Executive Committee that I begin my new role as the Chairwoman of this esteemed organization.  Celebrating my sixth year on the Committee, I revel at the tireless efforts of each of our executive committee members and advisers who, day in and day out, volunteer their valuable time to promote the education of the bar and advance the cause of professionalism and civility for the California workers’ compensation bar.  Read more
At mid-2023, it’s time to examine the most important developments in California workers’ compensation so far this year. If one tried to separate the wheat from the chaff, what is significant? Here, in no particular order, are my picks: Read more
The California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in the See’s Candies and related cases, finding that employers are not liable for personal injuries or wrongful death when an employee brings home COVID-19 from work, infecting family members. The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision issued July 6, 2023 in Kuciemba v. Victory Woodworks, effectively reversed the outcome of a prior decision of California’s Second District Court of Appeal in Matilde Ek et al. v. See’s Candies Inc. et al. That case rejected defendant See’s Candies request to dismiss a COVID wrongful death lawsuit based on the workers’ compensation “exclusive remedy” rule, allowing the lawsuit to proceed. Read more
The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board must stop its grant-for-study practice, but is not required to issue a final decision on the merits within 60 days of a petition for reconsideration either, the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled in a published decision. Read more
I hope you are enjoying a wonderful summer of 2023.  I cannot believe the year as Chair of the Executive Committee is coming to an end. I want to thank each and every member of the Executive Committee for assisting me in accomplishing our goals. I specifically want to thank the Honorable Sharon Velzy for the excellent job of directing our educational programs. The educational programs are our life blood and they keep us going. Please utilize the great opportunities offered in those programs to improve your skills and make you a better attorney. Thank you Saro Kerkonian for providing our members with insightful information with the Enews each month. Read more

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