The Court of Appeal Issued a Published Decision on Ex Parte Communications with a Physician and Reimbursement for Caregiver Services was Unreasonable
- Posted By: Harvey Brown
- February 1, 2011
This is a very significant case for workers’ compensation principles in that it discusses the current case law.
The applicant was injured on August 20, 1999. It was an admitted injury. A second claim was filed for a cumulative trauma. A Stipulation With Request for Award was entered for injury with 100 % permanent disability. Jurisdiction was reserved on the stipulation for attendant care by lien claimant.
The Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) disallowed the lien on substantial evidence grounds. The lien claimant successfully petitioned for reconsideration and the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCAB) instructed the WCJ to develop the record. The WCJ ordered the parties to a physician . Without notice to the defendant the lien claimant sent medicals to the physician. The WCJ and WCAB eventually awarded the lien claimant $1,520,640 in attendant care.
The appellate court found that ex parte communications violated defendants due process rights. They also found the degree of care awarded was unreasonable and remanded the case back for further proceedings.
Editor: Harvey Brown
Firm: Samuelsen, Gonzalez, Valenzuela and Brown
Address: 18881 Von Karman # 250 Irvine 92612
Case: State Farm insurance v. WCAB ( Pearson) This is a published Court of Appeal case