WCAB allows applicant to testify remotely by SKYPE after being deported and unable to attend hearing

This is a writ denied case

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

The applicant suffered an industrial injury. The applicant was terminated from his employment and eventually deported. Due to the applicant being deported the applicant could not enter the United States legally.

The applicant could not attend a trial so applicant petitioned to be able to testify remotely by Skype or another method. The Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) held a hearing to determine if the applicant could testify remotely. The WCJ ruled the applicant could testify remotely. The defendant filed a petition for reconsideration contending that the applicant should not be allowed to testify from Mexico by Skype due to being in the country illegally.

The WCJ indicated that just because someone resides outside the United States this does not terminate their legal rights. Once a person leaves the United States this does not terminate their rights under the California Labor Code.

The applicant was unavailable for trial as described by Evidence Code section 240. The applicant did not abandon his case. By allowing applicant to testify remotely at his own expense the WCJ indicated that both applicant and defendant were able to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses. The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board denied reconsideration and allowed the applicant to testify remotely.

Case: Creffitta v. WCAB (Alvarez)

Harvey Brown
3501 Jamboree Rd. Suite 602
Newport Beach, CA 92660

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