Board En Banc decision finds Administrative Director Rule 10133.54 Invalid

This is a Board En Banc panel decision

This is a very significant case for workers’ compensation principles.

The applicant sustained an injury to his right wrist. The parties settled the case by Stipulations with Request for Award. The settlement did not include a supplemental job displacement benefits voucher (SJDB).

Defendant sent applicant a Notice of Offer of Regular, Modified or Alternative Work. Applicant filed a Request for Dispute Resolution Before Administrative Director requesting that the applicant be given a SJDB and objected to the offer of regular, modified, or alternative work.  The Administrative Director did not issue a determination pursuant to AD rule 10133.54 (f). The request was deemed denied.

The applicant filed a Declaration of Readiness to proceed on request for SJDB. The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Judge (WCJ) issued a decision that the applicant’s appeal was untimely. The applicant filed a Petition for Reconsideration contending he  was entitled to the SJDB.

The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) issued a decision rescinding the WCJ and concluding the WCAB has exclusive jurisdiction over SJDB irrespective of AD rule 10133.54. Defendant sought reconsideration of that decision.

The WCAB ruled AD rule 10133.54 is invalid because it exceeds statutory authority. The WCAB has exclusive jurisdiction. It also ruled an employer must make a bona fide offer of employment.

Lien Claimants liens are deemed satisfied with no further payment due for failing to follow required procedures

This is a published case

This is a very significant case for workers’ compensation principles.

The applicants both had admitted injuries. Both applicants needed interpreter services for their injuries. The interpreter service submitted invoices to defendant for services provided.

Defendant denied payment and issued explanations of review pursuant to Labor Code section 4603.3. The lien claimant objected to the explanation, but did not seek a second review pursuant to section 4603.2 or section 9792.5.

The liens went to trial. The parties stipulated that the interpreters were necessary. They submitted timely invoices. Defendant issued an explanation of review but lien claimant did not seek a second review.

The Workers Compensation Judge (WCJ) found the liens were not barred. Defendant filed a petition for reconsideration and the Workers Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) denied the petition.

Defendant filed the writ of review. The appeals court looked at the applicable fee schedule under Labor code section 4603.3, 4603.2 and Title 8, Section 9795.3. They also reviewed case law.

The appellate court ruled that the WCAB lacked jurisdiction to hear the lien claimants dispute. There was an applicable fee schedule. There was an “amount of payment” under the schedule. The statute required lien claimant to file a second review within 90 days. Since they did not do so the bill was deemed satisfied pursuant to 4603.2

Football player is denied workers’ compensation in California due to lack of jurisdiction by the state

This is a published appellate court decision

This is a very significant case for workers’ compensation principles.

The applicant was a professional football player. He played 6 years in the National Football League. He played in 110 games in his career, but only two of those games were in California.

The applicant was living in Los Angeles and his agent was located in Newport Beach when they allege they signed his contract with the Indianapolis Colts. They allege this gave the state of California jurisdiction over his claim.

The Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) found at trial that the applicant sustained a 67 percent permanent disability and California had jurisdiction. The defendant filed a petition for reconsideration.

The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) reversed the WCJ finding that neither the applicant nor his agent were in California when the contract was accepted and signed. Therefore, California did not have jurisdiction and they reversed the award.

The appellate court reviewed numerous cases and statues. They agreed with the WCAB that there was no binding agreement in California so California had no jurisdiction. The appellate court also ruled playing two games in California was not sufficient to make an award.

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