Panel finds good cause to set aside Order Approving Compromise and Release
- Posted By: Harvey Brown
- October 1, 2020
This is a Board panel decision
This is a very significant case for workers’ compensation principles.
The applicant sustained an accepted cumulative trauma injury to the low back and hips while working as a maintenance worker. The applicant saw a primary treating doctor who did not discuss permanent disability in his report.
A claims adjuster offered the unrepresented applicant a $7500 settlement without negotiations and did not explain the applicant had a right to a Qualified Medical Examiner (QME).
The applicant did not know what permanent and stationary meant and signed a Compromise and Release (C&R) that stated applicant’s temporary disability was ongoing based on the primary treating doctor. The C&R stated the applicant was not permanent and stationary.
Defendant’s attorney got the C&R approved on a walk-through. Two days later the defendant sent applicant a letter indicated his temporary disability was discontinued and his right to dispute this.
The applicant retained counsel who filed a petition to set aside the C&R. The Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) concluded there was no good cause to set aside the C&R. The applicant filed a petition for reconsideration.
The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) reversed the WCJ. The panel ruled the applicant had not been given adequate notices of his rights before entering into the C&R.
Moreno v Hidden Valley Ranch