December 2017 Newsletter
Pollart Miller is pleased to welcome Denise M. Gonzales and 
R. Jake Johnson as its new partners and  Michelle L. Prince-Bowen as Of-Counsel

Michelle L. Prince-Bowen was placed in the 
Pollart Miller LLC will be hosting a webinar on January 16, 2017 at 12:00 PM MDT entitled  Bad Faith Claims: Claims Notes as Evidence, presented by Ian Mitchell and Gail Benson
To register, click here:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.  
February's webinar will be  Evaluating Compensability and Causation Issues (Including the Role of Diagnostic Testing)  Presented by Brad Miller and Kendra Garstka.

Claimant's compensation benefits will be cut in half if injured while willfully violating the employer's safety rules.   [more] 

ALJ's authority to resolve factual disputes allows discounting plain language of medical records to find claim compensable  [more]

Medical opinions which lack complete information may still be credited by the ALJ to find claim compensable and discretion to do so will not be reversed on appeal.   [more]

ALJ's determination of ongoing relatedness of benefits is not an impermissible assignment of MMI.   [more]

To be effective and require a response from Respondents, a request for prior authorization must be complete.  This includes concurrently explaining the reasonableness and the medical necessity of the services requested and providing relevant supporting medical documentation.  [more]
Winner's Circle

Claimant was a manufacturing specialist who alleged a neck and shoulder injury while attempting to loosen a large spool.  Claimant did not seek medical treatment for three days and failed to report that his alleged injury occurred as a result of work activities for nearly three weeks despite seeking medical care from several providers during that time period.  [more]

In claim successfully defended by Gail Benson, the claimant's claim temporary indemnity was denied as not being related to the injury.  [more]

Brad Miller recently successfully defended a permanent total claim filed in Utah.  The ALJ initially found that the petitioner could not perform any of his former qualified employment or return to work in any new reasonably available positions in the labor market.  The ALJ specifically found that any potential available work for the petitioner within his medical restrictions was below the state average weekly wage. [more]

ALJ Felter denies compensability of hearing loss claim where claimant equally exposed to risks outside of work and did not timely file within the applicable statute of limitations. [more]

Gail Benson successfully obtained an order from the ALJ limiting the scope of compensable body parts after the initial admission was filed.  [more]

In a recent win, Brad Miller and Jessica Grimes convinced an ALJ in Colorado that a claimant's upper extremity condition was not work-related.  The ALJ specifically held that claimant's job duties failed to include any primary or secondary risk factors for causing an occupational disease and denied the claim with prejudice. [more]

Gail Benson successfully argued before the Court of Appeals to affirm the ALJ's and ICAO's orders denying compensability based on credibility of witnesses [more]

Brad Miller and Andres Hermosillo recently prevailed on a complex claim in Utah.   The petitioner had both of his feet amputated due to the work injury.  The Utah statute indicates that anyone who has both feet amputated is entitled to a mandatory award of PTD benefits. Petitioner argued that he was entitled to receive both the mandatory PTD benefits and wages from ongoing employment.  [more]

In a recent win by Christin Bechmann, the claimant alleged entitlement to benefits due to moving a box that the Petitioner alleged weighed 50 to 60 pounds.  The medical record exhibits revealed a discrepancy in the amount the box allegedly weighed.  At the hearing the Petitioner attempted to withdraw, or otherwise hold in abeyance his claim for permanent partial disability benefits. [more]
Associate Watch
Spotlight on: 

Gail Benson was born and raised in Sarasota, Florida. After high school, she moved to New York City and attended New York University before ultimately moving back to Florida and finishing her undergraduate degree at the University of Central Florida (Go Knights!). After graduating with a B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations, Gail spent a summer backpacking through Europe before starting law school at Barry University in Orlando, Florida.

Because one summer in Europe was not long enough, after her 1L year Gail returned to London, England for a summer study abroad program specializing in entertainment law with Pepperdine University. After finishing law school, Gail spent two years working as a prosecutor and another year working in the field of medical malpractice and personal injury before the travel bug struck again.

In the summer of 2012, Gail rounded up her best friend and moved to colorful Colorado for a new adventure, new scenery and new (and ever-changing) weather. She started at Pollart Miller in August 2012 and continued her practice in insurance defense. Not long after moving to Colorado, Gail met her now-husband Ty and together they are "parents" to four fur kids - 2 Pomeranians, 1 American Eskimo, and 1 very grumpy cat. In her free time, Gail enjoys snowboarding, golfing, hiking, and of course, traveling. Gail and her husband recently returned from an African safari in Tanzania and Kenya and are eagerly planning their next adventure. 

Monthly Employment Law Tip

On December 5, 2017 the Department of Labor (DOL) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding tip regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposal would remove rules in effect since 2011 that have frustrated employers that do not take a "tip credit"-counting tips toward the minimum wage-by significantly limiting their ability to share tips with employees who are not ordinarily tipped. [more]
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