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Case Summaries

Workers' Comp

[01/05] King v. CompPartners, Inc.
In a suit arising out of plaintiff's injury at work, alleging professional negligence, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and seeking general, special, exemplary, and punitive damages, the trial court's sustainment of defendants' demurrer without leave to amend is: 1) affirmed in part as to the demurrer, where the claims are preempted by the Workers Compensation Act (WCA) and the defendants did not owe plaintiffs a duty of care; but 2) reversed as to denial of leave to amend the complaint.

[11/06] Eastern Ass'n Coal Corp.v.Dir. Office of Workers' Comp. Programs
In a workers' compensation action challenging an administrative law judge (ALJ)'s grant of black lung benefits to Arvis R. Toler, the petition for review is denied where the ALJ did not contravene the Black Lung Benefits Act, 30 U.S.C. sections 901-945 or the principles of finality and separation of powers.

[10/28] Batten v. WCAB, Long Beach Memorial
In a workers' compensation action in which petitioner claims she suffered a workplace injury to her psyche, the Workers Compensation Appeals Board refusal to admit her privately retained expert's report is affirmed where the admission of medical evaluation petitioner obtained is barred by Labor Code section 4061(i).

[10/01] N.Y. Knickerbockers v. WCAB
Petition for a writ of review of the Workers Compensation Appeals Board, challenging its jurisdiction over a claim by a former professional basketball player in the NBA from 1981 through 1984 for cumulative injuries, the Board's decision is affirmed where: 1) Labor Code section 5954 and Code of Civil Procedure section 1069 require verification of a petition to review a decision of the Appeals Board; 2) California has a legitimate interest in an industrial injury when the applicant was employed by a California corporation and participated in other games and practices in California for non-California NBA teams, during the period of exposure causing cumulative injury; and 3) subjecting petitioner to California workers' compensation law is reasonable and not a denial of due process.

[09/25] Contra Costa County v. WCAB
In an action challenging a Workers' Compensation Appeal Board's (WCAB) decision awarding a worker a permanent disability rating of 79 percent, which was initially set at 59 percent but was successfully rebutted by the worker, the WCAB's decision resetting the disability rating at 79 percent is reversed where worker's attempted rebuttal did not comport with any of the methods approved in Ogilvie v. WCAB (2011) 197 Cal.App.4th 1262, and is therefore foreclosed by Ogilvie.

[07/22] Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Board
In a writ of review challenging the failure of the WCAB to address its claim that the hearing officer failed to adjudicate a deceadent's widow's petition to determine her entitlement to special death benefits under the public employees' retirement system (PERS), Gov. Code section 21537, 21541, the decision of the WCAB upholding the finding of its hearing officer that there was an industrial cause for the death of decedent and the award of a workers' compensation death benefit to widow, is annulled and the matter is remanded with directions to join the PERS Board as a defendant and calculate the coordinated death benefits within each board's purview.

[06/29] Angelotti Chirporactice, Inc. v. Baker
In a suit claiming Senate Bill 863, which was enacted to combat an acute "lien crisis" in its workers' compensation system, violated the Takings Clause, the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution, the district court's judgment is: 1) affirmed as to dismissal of plaintiffs' claims under the Takings Clause and Due Process Clause challenging California Senate Bill 863; 2) vacated as to the grant of preliminary injunction; and 3) reversed as to denial of defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiffs' Equal Protection Clause claim.

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