Calif Edition Banner March 2010
Vol 1, Issue 14

Find Solutions & Strategies                                 April 26, 2010

Benson Revisited
Successive injuries inextricably intertwined in determining apportionment of disability under Labor Code 4663
In This Issue
* FEATURED ARTICLE: Benson revisited
* PANEL DECISIONS: PD rating/range of evidence, Modified/regular work, Depositions/psyche injury
* BLOG ROUND UP: fraud, CCC's, fee schedules
* NEWS HEADLINES: Zenith, Health care reform, OxyContin
* CALIFORNIA TOP CASES: MUAs, SCIF/furloughs, Insurance policies
* JUDGES IN THE NEWS: Van Nuys, San Diego, Oxnard

A Note From the Editor

Robin Kobayashi
Dear WC Professionals:
According to NIOSH, an average of 16 workers in the United States die each day from injuries sustained at work, and 134 are estimated to die from work-related diseases. Let's honor those who have died in the workplace. Workers Memorial Day is April 28th.  
Robin E. Kobayashi, J.D.
LexisNexis Editorial & Content Development

Workers Memorial Day April 28

Worker Memorial Day 2010
"Going to work shouldn't be a grave mistake." 

How to Enter Our Raffle for California E-Disovery Book

P1550 Calif. E-Discovery book cover
Purchase our 22-Year CD-ROM Archive of Workers' Comp Laws of Calif at *50% Off
and be eligible to win our new Calif. E-Discovery book
You must contact me first to obtain a promotional code for the CD-ROM archive at:
Offer expires June 1, 2010
*Discount price is $51.50 plus tax, shipping & handling
Web Poll In Progress
The federal takeover of workers' compensation is:    
  • highly unlikely - 58%
  • limited to certain occupational diseases - 17%
  • increasingly becoming a concern  - 8%
  • inevitable - 17%
Quick Links
WCJ Roster (updated 4/1/10)
Impairment Guides Resource Center (formerly AMA Guides Resource Center)
featured article:  BENSON REVISITED
Robert Rassp
Inextricably Intertwined: Benson Revisited in California. Robert G. Rassp explores multiple claims or successive injuries being "inextricably intertwined" in determining apportionment of disability under Labor Code 4663. Read it
recent panel decisions - sneak preview
Check out these recent panel decisions that we're considering for the LexisNexis® services:
NOTE:  If you have any problem accessing cases, please email me at
Permanent Disability; Rating; AMA Guides. WCAB rescinded WCJ
's finding that applicant's injuries caused 46% permanent disability based on "range of evidence," including medical reports and applicant's testimony, when WCJ failed to properly apply AMA Guides by determining applicant's impairment based upon "range of evidence," WCJ impermissibly reduced DRE whole person impairment determinations to comport with "range of evidence," and, because they are essentially medical determinations, DRE categories cannot be changed by WCJ. See Adair panel decision.

Permanent Disability; Offers of Regular, Modified or Alternative Work; Increases in Compensation. WCAB reversed WCJ's finding that applicant was entitled to 15% increase in 100% permanent disability award pursuant to Labor Code § 4658(d)(2) because defendant failed to timely offer modified or regular work, and held that Labor Code § 4658(d) did not apply to award of total permanent disability, and that since applicant's total permanent disability award was not based on calculation in Labor Code § 4658(d) but rather was determined under Labor Code § 4659(b) mandating that defendant pay applicant his temporary disability rate for life, provisions that encourage employers to make offer to return to work did not apply. See Rojas panel decision.

Discovery; Depositions; Psychiatric Injuries. WCAB, granting defendant's petition for removal, held that WCJ's order denying defendant's petition to compel deposition testimony impermissibly curtailed defendant's right to discover relevant information related to applicant's psyche injury claim and, therefore, would result in significant prejudice to defendant, when, applying principles in Allison v. W.C.A.B., WCAB found that applicant placed her mental condition at issue by raising psyche claim, defendant was entitled to inquire broadly into applicant's mental health history to determine extent to which her psychiatric disability was related to non-industrial or prior industrial causes, such other causes may have occurred more than 10 years prior to applicant's injury and there was no legal justification for sustaining applicant's attorney's objection to defendant's inquiry on basis that question dealt with matters that occurred more than 10 years earlier, and defendant engaged in reasonable and relevant questioning regarding basis for applicant's claim. See Eutsey panel decision.
Fraud Sign
Workers' Comp  Fraud Blotter 4/22/2010 - recent arrests, charges, convictions, investigations. Read it
Cal Comp Cases
Cal. Comp. Cases April Advanced Postings 4/22/2010. Vocational rehabilitation sunsetting; Psychiatric injuries. Read it
Greg KrohmAre Fee Schedules Effective in Workers' Compensation? by Greg Krohm, IAIABC. Read it
news headlines
Email logoFor other states news, subscribe to our FREE weekly National eNewsletter. Email me at to be added to the distribution list. Be sure to say you want the National enewsletter and provide your first and last name and email address.
P2548 CA WC HotDocs
Order the Forms
P1432 book cover
Order Today
Top 25 Blogs 2009
View the Honorees
80283 cover
Order Today
california top cases
California Top Cases (updated 4/25/2010), powered by Cal. Comp. Cases
> Ambrose v. Coffey (chiropractors; MUAs; malicious prosecution)
> California Attorneys v. Schwarzenegger (SCIF; furloughs)
> Prescott Companies, Inc. v. Mt. Vernon Fire Insurance Company (comprehensive general liability policy; exclusions for workers' compensation)
judges in the news
> Judge Julianne Reeves, Van Nuys District Office, has retired
> Judge Randall Paddock, San Diego District Office, has retired
> Note: The Oxnard District Office has moved to 1901 N. Rice Ave., Ste. 200, Oxnard, CA 93030, (805) 485-2533
LexisNexis and the Knowledge Burst logo are registered trademarks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used under license. Other products or services may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

Privacy & Security Copyright © 2010 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.