N e w s l e t t e r
February 2020
Eric J. Pollart has been named a 2020 Top Workers' Compensation - Respondent by 5280 Magazine
We are excited to welcome Kristi Robarge to Pollart Miller. Kristi is a workers' compensation attorney in our Denver office.
Ilene Morris v. Heritage Park Care Center and Safety National Casualty Corp. -    
The importance of diagnostic studies in defeating a claim for extensive wage loss and permanent impairment and permanent total disability. [more]
Compensability—a claimant’s attempt to create a false medical record is not sufficient to overcome his own prior statements - Claimant was an insulation installer who alleged he injured his back on two separate occasions while... [more]
Medical treatment denied—Request for Total Knee Arthroplasty denied due to pre-existing condition - Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) denied Claimant’s request for a total knee replacement after a compensable injury and surgery to repair a torn meniscus.  [more]
Erika Lopez v. EDS Services Solutions LLC and Travelers Property Casualty – This case involves a second appeal where the Petitioner’s request for hip replacement surgery, wage loss and permanent impairment was denied and dismissed with prejudice.  [more]
Arizona Workers' Compensation
PTSD claim denied as not arising out of employment after detective performed welfare check and unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate his mother because the risk was personal in nature  - The applicant previously worked as a patrol officer in property crimes, which included having to perform check-welfare calls. While working as a patrol officer, the applicant was the first responder to many emergency scenes with people seriously injured and once even had to perform CPR until medical personnel arrived.   [more]

If an applicant has a pre-existing non-industrial injury that effected their potential earning capacity, then scheduled impairment rating from a subsequent work injury should be calculated as an unscheduled disability award - In Simmons , the applicant sustained a work-related injury to his right wrist in 2015 while working as a vinyl floor installer. The applicant was later declared medically stationary with 5% right upper extremity impairment. The claim was closed with an admitted scheduled disability award.  [more]
Colorado Workers' Compensation
Safety Rule Violations – Plead your Plausible Purpose! - The Colorado Court of Appeals affirmed the Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) order reducing claimant’s non-medical disability benefits by 50% pursuant to C.R.S. § 8-42-112(1)(b).  [more]

Proportionality – New Standard for Determining Fine Proportionality - The Court of Appeals set aside and remanded a claim to determine what constituted a “proportional fine” for the employer’s failure to carry the requisite workers’ compensation insurance.  [more]

Compensability – An Incident that Occurs at Work Does Not Necessarily Make it a Work-Related Injury - The Colorado Court of Appeals affirmed the Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) Order upholding the denial and dismissal of claimant’s benefits claim after determining no compensable injury had occurred.  [more]

Permanent Total Disability Benefits - Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) found claimant permanently and total disabled despite testimonial evidence that claimant was capable of holding employment under alternate set of restrictions. [more]

Worker Classification – Independent Contractors v. Employees  - In Pella Windows, the Court of Appeals considered whether the nine-part independent contractor test adopted by the Colorado Supreme Court in Industrial Claim Appeals Office v. Softrock Geological Services, Inc., 2014 CO 30 as applied to an unemployment case...  [more]

Overcoming the DIME – Errors that are not the Basis for the DIME Physician’s Decisions are Insufficient to Overcome the DIME - The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) concluded claimant failed to overcome the division-sponsored independent medical examination (DIME) by clear and convincing evidence. [more]  
2020 Legislative Session
The 2020 Legislative Session is in full swing, having commenced on January 8, 2020. The end of this year’s session will be May 6, 2020. Like last year, there will be a push to advance a similar progressive agenda, particularly focusing on health care legislation. Specifically, it is anticipated that we will see more success with a public health insurance option and paid family leave.  [more]
Insurance Law
New Automobile Insurance Disclosure Law - A new law went into effect on January 1, 2020. As of that date, all insurers who provide automobile coverage are required to provide to both its insured, and to any claimant who has made a claim or the claimant’s attorney: The name of the insurer, the name of each insured party, as the name appears on the declarations page of the policy; the limits of the liability coverage; and a copy of the policy. [more]