N e w s l e t t e r
October 2020
We are excited to welcome two new associates to our Colorado office.
Tara is a recent graduate of the Nebraska College of Law and will be focusing her practice in the area of workers' compensation and insurance defense in our Colorado office.

Brianna is a graduate of the Loyola University Chicago School of Law with a certificate in Transactional Law. She will be focusing her practice in the area of workers' compensation and insurance defense in our Colorado office.
Defending Compensability and Statutory Bad Faith in AZ Applicant sustained an alleged low back injury that was both unwitnessed and unreported timely to his employer on March 22, 2019. Applicant filed a Workers’ Report of Injury and the ICA issued a Notification of Worker’s Compensation Claim. The defendants did not receive same due to an internal filing error and argued that, ...[more]
Arizona Workers' Compensation
A note from an LPN that fails to mention causation in relation to the applicant’s current condition is not sufficient evidence to support a reopening.
In Hothan, the applicant worked as a guard at the Mohave County Jail. In 2009, the applicant was injured when an inmate slipped out of his shacks and used the shackles to beat applicant in the face and neck. Applicant sustained a mild head injury, broken noise, and contusions. The applicant did not miss any time for work and had no permanent disability. This claim was accepted and later closed. In applicant was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. ..[more]
Colorado Workers' Compensation
What constitutes a personal deviation while on “Travel Status” and second sample required to claim reduction in benefits due to intoxication- In Skywest, Decedent lived in California while working as a pilot for SkyWest Airlines. In January and February 2018, Decedent was in Denver for flight training during which, he stayed in a hotel. One day, after completing a training test, Decedent and his coworker had a celebratory dinner with drinks. Decedent and coworker continued to drink until about 2 a.m. ...[more]

DIME’s “Findings and Determinations” Do Not Include Whole Person Conversion Ratings - In Morris, Claimant sustained a work-related injury when he slipped and fell on scaffolding in 2015. Almost a year later, Claimant reached maximum medical improvement (“MMI”) for that injury. The authorized treating provider found no permanent impairment. Claimant disagreed with this finding and requested evaluation by a Division Independent Medical Examiner (”DIME”). The DIME agreed that MMI had been reached, but found a 14% scheduled impairment to Claimant’s left leg. The DIME noted that the 14% scheduled impairment converted to 6% whole person impairment. In May 2017, Respondents filed a Final Admission...[more]

Issue of Conflicting Evidence - In Tapia, Claimant worked maintenance for privately owned condominium units in a building owned by Employer. In June 2019, Claimant had taken a lunch break in his office when he thought he heard water running. Claimant entered the unit where he believed the water was running, and last remembered setting down his lunch dishes to go investigate the sound in the unit’s bathroom. Claimant testified that the next thing he remembered was being at his desk, bleeding from the back of his head. Before going to the hospital, Claimant said his glasses were missing.,...[more]

Hospital Billing and Collection Practices - In Keating, Claimant was injured in a workplace accident on July 22, 2017. Employer was found liable for the injury and subsequent workers’ compensation benefits in October 2018. However, Employer did not carry workers’ compensation insurance and failed to pay any temporary benefits or medical benefits owed to Claimant. Employer then filed a bankruptcy proceedings. Claimant began treatment at a hospital in October 2017. After sending Claimant bills for her care, Claimant’s counsel alerted the hospital of C.R.S. 8-42-101(4). C.R.S. 8-42-101(4) provides that once an employer is found liable for a claimant’s medical costs, a medical provider “shall under no circumstances seek to recover such costs or fees from the employee.” The hospital explained that it was unable to collect its charges from either...[more]

Compensability & Missed IME Appointments - In Fahler, Claimant was employed as a Field Technician. As such, the job required Claimant to maintain kiosks by stocking, repairing, and painting them. In May 2019, Claimant was tasked with installing new credit card readers on the kiosks, which included drilling and hardware installation. On June 10, 2019, Claimant installed readers and began to experience right shoulder pain. The next day, Claimant informed his supervisor of the pain and was sent home early. On June 28, 2019, Claimant was replacing another reader when he claimed he injured his shoulder. While he was drilling, the bit punched through the metal of the kiosk causing the drill to recoil,...[more]

Recusal of an ALJ
In Webster, Claimant suffered a work injury on March 9, 2016, when he tripped and fell carrying a metal table. Claimant was placed at maximum medical improvement (“MMI”) by the authorized treating physician (“ATP”) on September 12, 2016. Claimant was referred to another doctor for an impairment rating, who found Claimant at MMI as of October 21, 2016 with no permanent impairment. Claimant then underwent a Division Independent Medical Examination (“DIME”) that concurred Claimant was at MMI with no impairment. Claimant then filed for hearing on the issues of permanent total disability and ongoing medical benefits. This hearing was conducted by ALJ Cayce. ALJ Cayce was not persuaded by Claimant’s arguments or testimony and denied the benefits sought. Claimant appealed,...[more]

Director-Imposed Penalties - In Gallego, Claimant and uninsured employer (“Respondent”) previously entered into a settlement agreement for work-related injury suffered by Claimant. The agreement included a penalty schedule if Respondent failed to comply with its terms. Respondent failed to comply with the settlement, and as a result, the Division of Workers’ Compensation (“Division”) sought enforcement of the agreement and requested penalties. In September 2018, Director entered an order imposing penalties in accordance with the penalty schedule, in an amount totaling $71,940.00. Respondent filed a petition to review this order,...[more]