RGW Firm Members Attend WCAB Judge Swearing-In

 

RGW firm members are pictured with former firm members Judge Steve Carbone, Judge Clint Feddersen and Judge M. Victor Bushin. 

CWCI Reports First Signs of Decline in IMR Volume

"...(there is) no definitive explanation for any disparity in IMR rates among different medical categories and he  has felt an 'overwhelming backlash' to psychological claims from the defense side in recent years."   Alan Gurvey 

After increasing for each of the last two years, the California Workers’ Compensation Institute is projecting the number of independent medical review determinations will drop this year. Maximus Federal Services, the contractor responsible for IMR decisions, issued 86,066 decisions in the first half of 2017, CWCI said in a Spotlight Report published Thursday. At that pace, Maximus is expect...

Fraud Cleanup Starts Moving; Other Bills Heading to Governor's Desk

"if the goal of the comp system is to provide medically necessary treatment, there needs to be an “objective arbiter” who makes the decision of what is appropriate. And he said he doesn’t believe UR and IMR physicians fall into that category."   Alan Gurvey

A key legislative committee passed a measure intended to close possible loopholes in last year’s fraud-fighting bills while California lawmakers sent to the governor bills addressing apportionment discrimination and the makeup of State Compensation Insurance Fund’s board of directors. At the same time, an assemblywoman from San Bernardino made further amendments to the bill she i...

Appellate Panel Challenges Peers' Ruling in Exclusive Remedy Decision

"when employers' behavior constitutes 'egregious and unwarranted treatment,' courts have traditionally found that applicants have the grounds to pursue a remedy outside the workers' compensation system..."   Alan Gurvey

A California appellate court panel ruled that an employee may pursue a tort claim against her supervisor for intentional infliction of emotional distress, creating a conflict with another panel's reading of a 2008 state Supreme Court opinion. The 1st Division of the 4th District court decided Tuesday that Miklosy v. Regents of the University of California allows Melony Light t...

Lawmaker Proposes Special UR Rules for Victims of Terrorism

"...the county’s strategy of putting money into trying to administer these claims better has worked, at least from the public’s perception of not ignoring the victims.”   Alan Gurvey

California Assemblywoman Eloise Reyes is making a renewed push to relax utilization review and independent medical review rules for victims of domestic terrorism. The San Bernardino Democrat last week amended AB 44 to propose a presumption that care and services requested by a physician treating a victim of domestic terrorism are in accordance with the state’s treatment guidelines...

WCAB Asked to Revisit Decision Invalidating 2009 MTUS Provision on Home Care

"The court notes there is evidence of an 'overwhelming need for the home care, but apparently that's not something that they were willing to order based on the invalidity of the MTUS at that time,' leaving the injured worker 'in limbo,'"   Alan Gurvey  

The Frances Stevens case, which resulted in a ruling that restricted the California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board's ability to overturn independent medical review decisions, has re-emerged as a challenge to the WCAB's ability to overrule medical treatment guidelines. Two years ago, former magazine editor Frances Stevens was unable to persuade the Court of Appeals that the statutory restrict...

Employer Can't Apportion Liability for Disability From Poor Surgical Outcome

ROWEN, GURVEY & WIN PREVAIL FOR INJURED WORKERS' RIGHTS

  The 2nd District Court of Appeal on Thursday ruled that an employer with a legal obligation to provide medical treatment to an injured worker is responsible for any disability arising directly from an unsuccessful medical intervention, without apportionment to any non-industrial causes for the underlying injury. The case was Hikida v. WCAB, No. B279412.Maureen Hikida had worked as...

San Bernardino Survivors Would Have to Repay Federal Funds Used for Treatment

“But, what is truly bothersome is that the victims have no idea that they are being duped and that they have to pay back the money without really knowing how much and whether it was the right price for the treatment...”   Alan Gurvey 

 

Survivors of the December 2015 terrorist shooting in San Bernardino who tap into the $4 million the Department of Justice last year allocated to provide mental health treatment, crisis counseling and other services could be forced to repay that money out of their workers’ compensation awards. The California Victim Compensation Board is charged with distributing the money U.S. Rep. Pete Agui...

2nd DCA to Clarify Apportionment of Worker's Permanent Disability

"(I)... was pleased the court has agreed to hear the case and that it recognized the important legal issues that need to be clarified."  Alan Gurvey

The California 2nd District Court of Appeal will be weighing in on the appropriate standard for addressing the causation of a worker's disability. Twelve years ago, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board put out an en banc decision in Escobedo v. CNA Insurance that established a rule that apportionment must be based on the causation of the worker's disability, not the cause of the injury tha...

Worker Recovers $10 Million Settlement for Brain Injury From Car Accident by Sherri Okamoto

"Over the course of the past 10 years...settlements have been rising for serious injury claims because of the ever-increasing costs of medical and home care."   Alan Gurvey

An administrative law judge on Monday signed off on $10 million settlement for a worker's comp claim in what may be a record recovery for the state. Los Angeles attorney Chris Asvar of Asvar Law on Tuesday said the settlement he attained for Boram Teresa Choi certainly beats his personal best, which was an $8.9 million payment from the State Compensation Insurance Fund. Asvar said he believ...

Report: 90% of San Bernardino Attack Victims' Treatment Requests Approved

"There are problems we see every day that need to be addressed for the victims and for other workers that may not have been subject to terrorist shootings."   Alan Gurvey

Ninety percent of treatment requests submitted by survivors of the 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino have been approved, the California Division of Workers' Compensation found in a review of how the county has handled those claims. George Parisotto, the DWC's acting administrative director, wrote a letter to Department of Industrial Relations Director Christine Baker on Feb....

DWC to Start Gathering Data On UR Decisions

" there are an extraordinary number of denials on legitimate and appropriate treatment requests. In fact, we are seeing more and more denials on long-standing authorized treatment post-permanent disability award with an award of future medical treatment.”   Alan Gurvey

Depending on whom you ask, utilization review may be called a righteous tool to ensure California’s workers’ compensation system provides appropriate medical care, or a dangerous weapon that withholds from workers treatments their physicians think are necessary. The California Workers’ Compensation Institute in 2015 published results of a study finding utilization review approve...

Alan Gurvey featured in Super Lawyers Magazine Profile: “Diagnosis: Life”

Once given a second chance, it's been carpe diem ever since

Alan Gurvey Super Lawyers Magazine profile – “Diagnosis: Life”

Applicants' Attorneys' New Strategy: Push for Treatment Within MPNs

Sylvia Joo of Rowen, Gurvey & Win presented the results of an informal statistical research project

Applicants' attorneys have been fighting for years to get treatment for their clients from doctors outside of the employer's medical provider network, but now a group of practitioners is suggesting a new tactic: demanding treatment from within the network.  Charles Rondeau, a panelist for a discussion on MPNs last month at the California Applicants' Attorneys Winter 2017 convention, on Thu...

Baker and Parisotto Seek Collaboration to Carry Out Reforms Options

The CAAA convention drew an estimated 1,200 attendees, according to organizer Alan Gurvey. The four-day event at the San Diego Sheraton Hotel & Marina wrapped up Sunday.

SAN DIEGO — Tensions ran high at the California Applicants' Attorneys Association 2017 winter convention on Friday when the administrators of the state comp system faced a packed ballroom to discuss their efforts at implementing the latest round of statutory directives from the Legislature. The audience became increasingly restive as Christine Baker, the director of the Department of I...

Alan Gurvey and Sylvia Joo, Speakers at the 2017 CAAA Winter Convention in San Diego

Alan Gurvey, Education Chariperson for the 2016 50th Anniversary CAAA Winter Convention

Alan Gurvey was honored to introduce the inaugural panel for the 2016 50th Anniversary CAAA Winter Convention in Rancho Mirage, California, for which he served as the Education Chairperson. Since 1966, the California Applicants’ Attorneys Association (CAAA) has dedicated itself to helping Californians that get hurt on the job heal and get back to work. As a Teamsters affiliate, we proudly r...

Called ‘hogwash,’ a gene test for addiction risk exploits opioid fears

"(he)... was troubled by the use of unverified genetic tests. He said via email that employers and insurers often describe cost containment justified by unproven diagnostics, such as some genetic tests, as in 'the best interests of the injured worker.'”   Alan Gurvey

Called ‘hogwash,’ a gene test for addiction risk exploits opioid fears

San Bernardino Approves $100,000 to Hire 'Claim Expediter'

"If the latest media propaganda move by the county had any substance to it, and was not simply a smokescreen and an attempt to manipulate the bad press that has recently come to light in this situation, then apparently every workers’ compensation defendant would require a $100,000 firm to expedite treatment requests”   Alan Gurvey

The San Bernardino County, California, Board of Supervisors earmarked $100,000 to hire an outside firm to ensure survivors of the Dec. 2, 2015, terrorist attack receive necessary medical treatments as quickly as possible. Survivors of last year’s shooting at the Inland Regional Center that killed 14 and injured 22 others reported to WorkCompCentral and other media that the county is using t...

Survivors of San Bernardino Attack Question Use of FMLA Leave

 I don't..."agree with the practice of using FMLA for workplace injuries, because that’s not the intended use of the program. “Workers’ comp benefits are for workers’ comp, not FMLA, as FMLA is simply to maintain a job while the person is off for approximately 12 weeks, without pay.”   Alan Gurvey 

Survivors of the 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino say the county tried to — and in some cases did — persuade them to apply for medical leave under a federal program that offers workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off for serious medical conditions. The U.S. Department of Labor says employers can require injured workers to use time accrued under the Family...

San Bernardino Terrorist Attack Victims Fight for Comp Benefits

"the bureaucratic nightmare of utilization review is a hindrance to the recovery of all injured workers."   Alan Gurvey

Survivors of the 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino are fighting with the county to get approval for medications and treatments their doctors say are necessary — and in the process exposing California’s workers’ compensation system to a new round of national scrutiny. Eighteen county workers who were at the Inland Regional Center on the morning of Dec. 2, 2015, have al...

4th DCA Asked to Decide if Treatment by MPN Doctor Goes Through UR/IMR

"The denial of treatment through UR and IMR has been 'rampant' ever since the systems came into existence, Alan Gurvey said, so the MPN process may provide 'another pick at the hand' and "more opportunity to have communication between the doctor and the injured worker, which may yield a more favorable result for workers in a system that many have seen as becoming increasingly unfair."

The 4th District Court of Appeal is being asked to decide whether an employer is able to refer treatment recommendation from a doctor within its own medical provider network through utilization review and independent medical review. In Parrent v. WCAB (Pacific Bell Telephone Co.), No. D071162, applicants' attorney Robert A. McLaughlin is arguing that the Labor Code provides for "two separate and...

Live from WorkComp Central Comp Laude! Gurvey's Law

Alan Gurvey and Kerri Kasem of Gurvey's Law - Movers and Shakers, they are everywhere!

The Comp Laude® Awards recognize Integrity, Excellence and Success in the Workers' Compensation industry. Each year, nominations are received and reviewed by a panel of industry judges. Comp Laude® awards are presented by WorkCompCentral at the annual Comp Laude® Gala. Alan Gurvey was honored ot win a Comp Laude Award in 2014.  Alan Gurvey  was honored to bring the Gurvey's...

Dozens of Injured San Jose Firefighters Denied Workers' Comp Treatment

NBC Bay Area 3-part Investigation into the California’s Workers’ Compensation System

Part I: The City of San Jose was forced to reexamine cases after firefighters complained that the workers' compensation system denied necessary treatment for their on the job injuries. A San Jose fire captain nearly died after a building collapsed on him, but the workers’ compensation system denied the medical treatments his doctor says he needed. The Investigative Unit learned his injury...

Bill Would Limit Employer Liability for CT and Disease Claims

"...said he thinks there could be equal-protection issues or other constitutional concerns relating to the proposal to limit liability for cumulative trauma and occupational disease to treatment provided by MPN doctors. He said the proposal would effectively allow employers to control liability without the intervention of a court."   Alan Gurvey

California employers would not be liable for medical treatment provided before they accept or deny a cumulative trauma or occupational disease claim unless the injured worker was treated by a doctor in the employer’s network or his or her personal physician, under recent amendments to a bill that could also be a vehicle for reforms being drafted by the Department of Industrial Relations. As...

DIR Working on Legislative Fixes for UR and Lien

"...he found a lot of the proposals to be confusing, and said they are likely to lead to more litigation and disputes.  Prohibiting UR for most services within the first 30 days is really just a band-aid."   Alan Gurvey

A draft of proposed legislation by the California Department of Industrial Relations shows that the department might put the brakes on utilization review for network doctors in the first 30 days after injury and is considering adding another layer of review for medical treatment disputes. DIR Director Christine Baker and Division of Workers’ Compensation Acting Administrative Dire...

DIR Rejects Claims of Rampant Gender Discrimination

"...the law is “murky” when it comes to what constitutes “valid apportionment.This means that the real question, in a technical sense, is, ‘What caused the actual disability?’” he said. “In its purest form, one cannot make a determination of true cause of a disability if you simply blame it on risk factors, or what the medical literature states generally.”   Alan Gurvey

Department of Industrial Relations Director Christine Baker rejected claims that gender discrimination is rampant in California’s workers’ compensation system and said a lawsuit alleging widespread bias against women could be part of an effort to undo successful reforms. Baker said a group of lawyers who filed the class action complaint Wednesday requesting a court order dir...

Attorneys Anxious to See WCAB Vacancies Filled

"...said he doesn’t know why it appears so hard to appoint new commissioners. But the effect of an understaffed WCAB, in some cases at least, is a long wait until cases are resolved, he said. One case has been pending before the WCAB for almost a year since commissioners agreed to hear an appeal, he added."   Alan Gurvey

The retirement of Ronnie Caplane as chairwoman of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board created a second vacancy and a growing desire among some attorneys to have a fully staffed panel of seven commissioners. Vacancies on the appeals board were long a concern of Caplane, who retired on April 29 and took a vice president position with Zenith Insurance Co. She regularly mentioned during pub...

Bills on UR, WCIS Reporting, QMEs Move Forward in Legislature

“The naysayers will say that moving away from the MTUS, and easing the limitations on chiropractic treatment as well as physical therapy, will create more fraud in the system, both with the doctors and applicants,” Alan Gurvey said. “However, obviously people are understanding that legitimately injured workers need better medical attention and that the doctors have to be doctors, and not simply slaves to the insurance companies and employers.”

Bills in the California Legislature that would extend salary-continuation benefits for police and firefighters recovering from catastrophic injuries, and reinstate the qualified medical evaluator designation for neuropsychologists, were unanimously passed out of committee, along with three other workers' comp measures. At the same time, the head of the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Commit...

Applicants' Attorneys Alarmed by Incentive Program for MPNs

"Although he said he would like to believe most doctors would not allow their medical opinion on the extent of a worker's disability to be influenced by Harbor's performance evaluation, he said the plan was basically 'dangling a carrot' to tempt doctors to do just that."   Alan Gurvey

California applicants' attorneys say they are outraged with the news that some medical provider networks are using economic profiling to determine the top-performing doctors within their networks, and at least one is promising to reward the best performers with extra compensation. The Labor Code expressly allows MPNs to do economic profiling and to offer incentive programs bas...

DWC Proposes Penalties of $8.25 Million for Untimely Submission of IMR Records

"...said any penalties the DWC might ultimately collect mean little to injured workers. What injured workers care about is that their treatment is denied, and it sometimes takes 'forever and a day to hear about the denial'"   Alan Gurvey

Eight California claims administrators face a total of $8.25 million in administrative penalties for not submitting medical records to Maximus Federal Services within the time period allowed by law. Documents provided in response to a public records request reveal the Division of Workers' Compensation started the process of assessing penalties last summer, when it alleged 1,650 instances in which...

DWC to Penalize Claims Administrators over IMR Medical Records

"There should be a listing of the records, and a review so we know that they were actually reviewed...Just because an insurance organization is fined for not providing all of the records does not guarantee that the injured worker is going to get a fair shake."   Alan Gurvey

More than a year after warning claims administrators that it would start assessing penalties for untimely submission of records for independent medical review, the Division of Workers' Compensation has started a process that could lead to fines against 10 firms. The division has issued orders to show cause to 10 claims administrators that have consistently failed to provide medical records to Maxi...

Expectations for DWC's UR Audit Ramp Up Mixed

"Anyone who understands the gravity of the problems with UR knows that these audits are simply window dressing done to look like something is being done to police the system, but, in actuality, it does little to simplify the process and make it more efficient," Alan Gurvey said. "What is actually behind the windows is a seriously dysfunctional system that window dressings can't possible have any appreciable impact on."

The most vocal critics of utilization review reacted to the Division of Workers' Compensation's announcement that it will ramp up audits this year with a range of opinions, from "it's about time" to "so what." The division last week said its Audit and Enforcement Unit will be noticing more target audits in 2016 to address utilization review complaints.  Claims administrators and utiliz...

DWC Provides Guidance on Requirements for Workers to Get 2nd IMR by

 "...he believed Overpeck was saying the order needed to contain language about the IMR being invalid because of a "plainly erroneous express or implied finding of fact," and that there was "clear and convincing evidence" of this mistake. If the WCJ "had written these magic words...I'm sure there wouldn't have been a problem."   Alan Gurvey

Getting a second go-round through the independent medical review process is not as simple as asking for it, even if there is no dispute that the initial IMR decision was invalid, according to a letter by the California Division of Workers' Compensation issued last week. Labor Code 4610.6 provides that the remedy for an invalid IMR is another round of review, and subsection (i) expressly directs th...

Study Finds L.A. Area Accounts for California's Increased Claim Frequency

 “...'bad apple' attorneys who try to take advantage of the workers’ compensation system are one factor in the higher claim frequency in Southern California. Problems have resulted from reform measures in SB 863...which have allowed some to exploit the system."   Alan Gurvey

Differences in workers’ compensation claims in the Los Angeles area are again in the spotlight, as a new report says the five-county Southland is responsible for driving up indemnity claim frequency for the state as a whole. The report, from the California Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau, identified late reporting of claims and a greater proportion of cumulativ...

Bill Amendments Would Prohibit Financial Incentives for UR Physicians

"The real issue is that UR doctors, I believe, maintain a very conservative posture with respect to certifying treatment by treating doctors because they are trained to do so, and definitely want to continue to get the business from the carrier," Alan Gurvey said. "Just like (medical provider network) doctors live in fear every day of being kicked off the MPN and losing significant compensation, the UR doctors, perhaps in their own limited way, rely on this business as well to pay their bills."

California employers and carriers would be prohibited from offering financial incentives to physicians performing utilization review based on the number of treatment requests that are delayed, modified or denied, under a bill that could be called for a committee hearing as early as Jan. 13. New language in SB 563 that Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, submitted Monday would also give the...

Attorneys Say Stevens Decision May Lead to more Litigation

"court apparently didn't care much about the word 'shall'" being used in the Labor Code, and he thought "it would really help the system if Southard and Saunders were the law." That way, "if there has to be challenges, at least we'd know things would move"   Alan Gurvey

The California 1st District Court of Appeal has declared that the state's independent medical review process passes constitutional muster, but attorneys are saying the ruling still leaves them plenty to fight over. In Stevens v. WCAB, a unanimous panel determined that California’s scheme for evaluating workers’ treatment requests through independent medical review "is fundamentally fa...

Attorneys Say Maximus Not Listing Medical Records in IMR Letters

"The underlying theory behind the mistake of fact is that the IMR decision cannot be valid where it has not considered the evidence necessary to arrive at a medically sound conclusion," Alan Gurvey said. "That would mean that the reviewer did not review relevant records or reports that would potentially allow for the decisions to be medically supportable. 

Independent medical review final determination letters are supposed to list all records that were considered when deciding if a treatment is appropriate, but applicants' attorneys say Maximus Federal Services is not doing that in all cases. Instead, Maximus is identifying the range of dates of the medical records reviewed and the physicians who wrote those reports. One page of an IMR letter...

Attorneys Generally Satisfied with New QME Process

"...he expects to see an increase in discovery litigation pertaining to panels issued through the new website. He said he anticipates that many of the problems that existed with the Medical Unit before will now move to the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board for adjudication."   Alan Gurvey

Workers' compensation attorneys say the online process for requesting qualified medical evaluator panels that went live Oct. 1 isn't perfect, but they're generally pleased with how it's working and the immediate turnaround in getting a list of doctors to determine an injured worker's eligibility for benefits. "I went online, filled out the form and got a panel immediately," workers' compensation...

Attorneys, Copy Shops Question Carrier's Request

"Are these people serious? They want us to bypass the regulations in order to save them money? We should be ignoring the administration so we can save the insurance companies money?"   Alan Gurvey

State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. negotiated a good deal on copy service rates in California, but its request for applicants' attorneys to help it control costs by using its vendor has some copy shops and attorneys scratching their heads. The Division of Workers' Compensation's copy service fee schedule, which was mandated by SB 863 and went into effect July 1, sets reimbursement at $180 for...

5th DCA Grants Review to Dispute over Worker's Earnings

"A scrivener's error as to how much a worker made is different from the failure to state an affirmative defense or request penalties, Alan Gurvey opined, since the question of earnings is simply a factual issue."

The 5th District Court of Appeal has agreed to weigh in on the question of whether the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board should have adjusted the amount of a truck driver's award of benefits after the parties discovered they had mistakenly stipulated to his earnings being lower than they actually were. Attorney Michael Burgis filed a writ petition on behalf of Carlos Garcia asking the...

Payments from RTW Fund Increase in June

"...his assessment on the $120 million fund is deteriorating quickly since July, when he called it an 'unadulterated failure.' Just because checks are going out doesn't mean the program is a success." Alan Gurvey

The California Department of Industrial Relations paid more than $1 million to injured workers from the Return-to-Work Supplement Program in June alone, about 50% more than it did during the first seven weeks after the program went live in April. And while department officials say they're happy with how the program is working and have received feedback from injured workers who are also satisfied,...

DIR Paid $865,000 since Return-to-Work Fund Launched in April

"The limitations on the fund have made this notion a total joke," Alan Gurvey said. "In fact, the people who may take advantage of it are most likely not the ones where it will make any difference."

The California Department of Industrial Relations has made $865,000 in supplemental payments to injured workers since it launched the return-to-work program created by Senate Bill 863 in April. As of June 1, the DIR had received 233 applications for the one-time payment of $5,000, of which 37 were denied either because the person was injured before Jan. 1, 2013, or the application was incomplete,...

Attorneys Argue whether SCIF Letter Shows MPN 'Bullying' Doctor or 'Self-Policing' Billing Rules

"...It's not at all unusual" for doctors to get letters such as the one State Fund wrote. He said he sees such letters as warnings to the doctors that "you will not be able to earn your livelihood if you do not do what we tell you to do."   Alan Gurvey

State Compensation Insurance Fund's May 11 letter to a doctor within its medical provider network has applicants' attorneys up in arms over what they perceive as a dissemination of misinformation and bullying.  Defense attorneys, however, say the applicants' bar is making much ado about nothing, suggesting that the communique is a mere reminder of the doctor's obligations as a memb...

3rd DCA Accepts Review of Constitutional Challenge to IMR

"(I am) .....a vocal opponent to IMR – last week heralded the 3rd DCA's decision to hear the Ramirez matter and all cases involving IMR decisions ought to be appealed 'until there is transparency' in the decision-making process."   Alan Gurvey

The California 3rd District Court of Appeals has agreed to hear a constitutional challenge to the independent medical-review process mandated by Senate Bill 863. Ramirez v. WCAB (SCIF), No. C078440, joins a case already pending at the 1st DCA called Stevens v. WCAB (Outspoken Entertainment), No. A143043, which also seeks to have the controversial procedure for determining issues of medical n...

DePaolo's World: Claim Commodit

Applicant attorney and radio talk show host Alan Gurvey, in a recent WorkCompCentral opinion piece, points out a much more sinister and debilitating access issue: California Medical Provider Networks in accepted cases are themselves an access to care issue.

Access to medical care is usually debated in terms of geography or process approval - injured workers in more rural areas have greater difficulty getting to a physician because of geographical limitations, or a particular treatment request has to go through the approval/denial process before a physician will execute a treatment plan. But applicant attorney and radio talk show host Alan Gurvey, in...

The Fiasco Starts Here: MPNs and Workers' Compensation in Califonrnia

"An assistant in our office called 55 doctors on one MPN. Out of the 55, only two were willing to consider treating the injured worker. Most of the doctors were not familiar with workers’ compensation, nor did they even know that they were on the MPN. Other doctors had moved. Others were no longer on the MPN, but their names remained on the website. There were at least six doctors who had died."   Alan Gurvey

 

Recently I was interviewing a candidate for a vacant attorney position at our firm. I asked the attorney, who had spent most of his career as a defense attorney, what he thought the three most difficult challenges would be as an applicant attorney in today’s post-SB 863 environment. He first said, “Dealing with the applicants.” I responded by saying that isn’t so difficult...

DWC, Judges Push against Denial of Care without Change in Medical Circumstances

“(Judges) are all taking this very seriously that based on the Patterson v. The Oaks Farm case that they believe that this line of thinking is proper,” Gurvey said. “And it's coming before the administration, so it’s putting a monkey wrench in all of these situations where the defendant is unilaterally attempting to stop treatment through the utilization-review process.”

Applicants’ attorneys say that a statement last week by the California Division of Workers' Compensation – spurred by national coverage of an insurer's decision to cut off home health care – gives them more ammunition in a long-standing dispute over whether the 2012 reforms give employers and carriers an opportunity to challenge ongoing medical care. The California Division of W...

WCAB Expanding Telephonic Appearances, but some Attorneys Skeptical

"...his firm's belief is that 'we should be present at appearances so we get the full impact of the event,' no matter what it is. 'Court was meant to be a place where everyone sees each other eye to eye'"   Alan Gurvey

The California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board has been allowing attorneys to literally "phone in" appearances using a program known as "Court Call" for well over two years. The program is in place at 15 boards, and the department is in the process of setting it up in another six. But the program doesn't seem very popular – at least not in the workers' compensation arena.  Some a...

Applicants' Attorneys Pan DWC's Rosy View of Independent Medical Review

"the suggestion that the high volume of applications prevented Maximus from issuing timely decisions is not a valid excuse. 'How does that help an injured worker who needs treatment? And if he or she is not going to receive the treatment, will need to seek a different source in some cases'...the DWC seems to be unapologetic of this massive oversight, causing long delays in determining whether treatment denials were overturned or upheld."   Alan Gurvey

The California Division of Workers' Compensation says a report detailing independent medical review statistics from 2013 shows the program is on the right track in reducing delays and delivering timely medical care, but attorneys who represent injured workers say they're not seeing those improvements. In some cases, IMR has forced their clients to endure additional waits for recommended treatment...

4th DCA Ruling Removes Ambiguity about which Disputes are Subject to IBR By Sherri Okamoto

"..he sees all this litigation as an example of why 'changing the rules in the middle of the game' is never a good idea, 'in sports or in law.'"    Alan Gurvey

Medical providers say Tuesday's ruling by the California 4th District Court of Appeal that the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board has the authority to decide medical billing disputes that were pending prior to the passage of SB 863 averted a catastrophe for doctors who treat injured workers. Insurers, on the other hand, are disappointed. They had hoped unsettled disputes would instead be directe...

Alan Gurvey Featured in Valley Lawyer December 2014 Issue

"An Unconventional Journey:  Alan Gurvey and a Commitment to Service"

Alan Gurvey was featured in the Valley Lawyer December 2014 Issue , page 28 and continuing, in the article titled “An Unconventional Journey: Alan Gurvey and a Commitment to Service.”  

Employer Wish List Led to Grand Bargain with Labor

"...those involved with the negotiations approached the reform efforts with only cost reduction in mind and that the permanent disability increases didn’t justify the other changes the bill included – things like eliminating the compensability of sexual dysfunction and adding the independent medical-review process."   Alan Gurvey

Editor's Note: Three WorkCompCentral reporters devoted at least one week each in the past several months to tell the story behind the story about the dysfunction of California's workers' compensation system. This is the fourth of six stories in our special report, which was distributed in print form at the Third Annual Comp Laude Awards Gala in Los Angeles on Saturday. When Sean McNally was manag...

Courts Have Their own Take on Legislative Reform

"Back then, the workers' comp system was far different than it is today. A new client would came in and you'd send him to a doctor, and that was all there was to be done,” recalls Alan Gurvey...it was so easy to represent workers that many lawyers with general practices would "dabble" in workers' compensation – something that rarely happens anymore." 

Editor's note: Three WorkCompCentral reporters devoted at least one week each in the past several months to tell the story behind the story about the dysfunction of California's workers' compensation system. This is the second of six stories in our special report, which was distributed in print form at the Third Annual Comp Laude Awards Gala in Los Angeles on Saturday. The cycle of reform has bec...

WorkCompCentral Recognizes Individuals, Organizations with Comp Laude Awards

Congrats to Alan Gurvey for winning a WorkCompCentral 2014 Comp Laude Award!

An injured worker who lost both legs in separate workplace accidents, an applicants' attorney who filed some of the first appeals of independent medical-review decisions and a claims administrator who was praised by an applicant for his compassion and kindness were among the winners of WorkCompCentral's Comp Laude awards. WorkCompCentral selected Dwight Johnson as a Comp Laude recipient in the in...

Attorneys Have Mixed Views on whether Bodam Brings Clarity or Confusion

"...he remains adamant that treatment decisions "should depend on the medicine, on need and on the patient," and he was having a hard time coming to terms with the idea that "we're in a situation where we're deciding medical need based on timing." So, even though he's grateful to have the opportunity Bodam has opened up for a judge to look at the medical evidence and decide the need for treatment, Gurvey said he thought the decision has "muddied the waters more," paving the way for 2015 to be "a crazy litigated year."   Alan Gurvey

Applicant and defense attorneys across the state have mixed views on the direction that the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board has indicated it is heading with its recent significant panel decision, Bodam v. San Bernardino County. Without question, the issue of when and how the board can decide medical necessity for a worker's treatment has been hotly contested. The board has addressed the...

DWC to Fine Administrators for Not Submitting Medical Records for IMR

"...the announcement is a "step in the right direction.""Perhaps there is an underlying understanding that the administration and the WCAB cannot turn a blind eye to the flaws of the UR/IMR review process"   Alan Gurvey

The California Division of Workers' Compensation announced that next Monday it will begin the process of assessing penalties against claims administrators that fail to submit relevant medical records for independent medical review. The DWC said in a notice issued Tuesday that it will pursue administrative penalties in cases where there is a failure to timely submit medical records dated on o...

Rules for $120 Million Fund Earn Mixed Reviews

"...the program should be structured in a way such that eligibility is determined by a minimum disability rating. Payments should start at $100,000 and be calculated using a sliding scale that takes into account medical evidence showing the injured worker's needs. "This is a meaningless provision of 863, and the administration of the $5,000 per worker provision will be a nightmare, costing more money than the benefit..."   Alan Gurvey

The California Applicants' Attorneys Association said it supports rules proposed by the Department of Industrial Relations that would make receipt of the Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit voucher the sole factor in determining an injured worker's eligibility for payments from the $120 million fund created by Senate Bill 863. But Southern California applicants' attorney Alan Gurvey said the on...

WCAB Issues New En Banc Decision Limiting Review of UR to Timeliness Issues

Under the new en banc decision, Alan Gurvey said there is "no incentive for UR to be done properly." As long as the decision is issued within five days, "that's a valid UR," or so it seems, he reflected. And then the decision goes through IMR, which upholds the UR denial 85% of the time.

The California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board, sitting en banc, ruled Monday that a utilization-review decision will be deemed invalid and ineligible for the independent medical review process created by Senate Bill 863 only if it is untimely. If a UR decision is untimely, the WCAB said it can make the determination of whether the requested treatment was medically necessary or not, otherwise...

Comments Request Testing before Online QME Application Goes Live

"...it’s a 'must' for the DWC to develop and implement an electronic system for requesting QME panels so the process is more efficient.....he also supports the proposal to allow judges to resolve QME panel disputes. It is a “miscarriage of justice” to have the Medical Unit making quasi-judicial decisions."   Alan Gurvey

Expectations are high that a proposed electronic application process will allow the California Division of Workers’ Compensation to quickly issue qualified medical evaluator panels in represented cases, but system users want some testing to ensure the system works before it becomes mandatory. Employers and carriers who commented on a pre-proposal the division posted to its online forum earl...

IMR Spike Likely Caused by Duplicate Applications, DWC Says

“I don’t buy it one bit....he has noticed in his office that the number of IMR denials has increased in the past two months, which would coincide with the notion that there has been an increasing number of applications. What’s happening...is that carriers are sending all treatment requests to utilization review, especially on older claims where treatment is being provided but there was no valid UR performed."   Alan Gurvey

The sharp spike in applications for independent medical review observed in the second quarter of this year is likely the result of duplicate and ineligible requests, according to the California Division of Workers’ Compensation. IMR requests jumped 70% from 11,571 in March to 19,663 in April. That was the largest number of applications in a single month since the independent medical review...

WCAB Repealing Court Administrator Rules after 3-Year Vacancy

"I'm more interested in substantive changes," said applicants' attorney Alan Gurvey. For the most part, the WCAB is looking to adopt the existing court administrator rules and simply renumber them as WCAB rules, without making any changes.

The California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board hasn't had a court administrator for three years. This week, the Division of Workers' Compensation started the process of repealing all of the rules that went with the job. The WCAB on Monday issued notice that it is accepting public comment on a proposal to repeal the Rules of the Court Administrator and integrate their provisions within the WCA...

DIR to Ratchet Up Pressure on Maximus

"...(we) are seeing an increase in the number of treatment disputes stemming from carriers using utilization review and IMR to deny care on cases that have already been settled...he suggested that it’s financially advantageous for carriers to use UR and IMR to try to get out of paying for medical care."   Alan Gurvey

The California Department of Industrial Relations so far has not imposed penalties − allowed by contract − against Maximus Federal Services for not issuing independent medical review decisions within regulatory timeframes, but that could change in September. DIR Director Christine Baker said Thursday, during the California Coalition on Workers’ Compensation's annual conference,...

Judge Delivers Scathing Rebuke of IMR by Greg Jones

Gutierrez initially said he wasn’t sure he could render a decision in the case because IMR decisions, although issued by physician reviewers under contract with Maximus Federal Services, are technically an order by the administrative director.  Alan Gurvey said “What we asked of the judge is, if UR is invalid, doesn’t that necessarily make IMR invalid?” 

 

A Southern California judge, in striking down an independent medical review decision and ordering the injured worker to receive the denied treatment, joined the chorus of detractors who say the new administrative process for resolving treatment disputes is creating delays and improperly denying care. Although the decision doesn't set precedent and can be overturned by the Workers' Compensation Ap...

1st DCA Denies Review of Constitutional Challenge to IMR Options By Sherri Okamoto

"...the Labor Code allows an applicant to get judicial review of an IMR decision if there is a mistake of fact or law...one of his cases may still need to make its way through the appeals court, but if it stands, "then there is still hope to litigate some instances where applicants have been railroaded."  Alan Gurvey

The 1st District Court of Appeal on Tuesday summarily denied review of a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of the independent medical review process, but applicant attorneys say this doesn't mean the controversial system with limited judicial oversight for treatment decisions actually comports with principles of due process.  Joseph Waxman, the San Francisco applicant attorney wh...

En Banc Board Rescinds Award to Wife of Worker for Care Services By Sherri Okamoto

"....the board's decision also potentially has opened up "a whole new can of worms," and could lead to "a lot more litigation" over every step of the process that the WCAB has laid out for obtaining payment for home health care." Alan Gurvey

The California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board, in an en banc ruling Thursday, unanimously rescinded an award to a worker with a severe injury to his dominant hand for the home health care assistance he was receiving from his wife. Even though Roque Neri-Hernandez got hurt before the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 863, the board ruled that the statutory changes that place limits on...

Elimination of QME Backlog Didn't End Attorney Woes By Sherri Okamoto

"I think this can be fixed...but if someone doesn't speak up, it won't get fixed...it seems like most attorneys have "just thrown their hands up," but "if they're not complaining about the situation, they're not practicing workers' compensation law." Alan Gurvey

California attorneys say the Division of Workers' Compensation has largely cleared a backlog that delayed the issuance of qualified medical evaluator panels for six months, but now they have a new problem. When applicants do get a panel, they have trouble making a timely appointment with the QME or discover that the doctor selected from the panel is no longer doing QME work, according to several...

Appellate Court Review Sought for Issues Affected by SB 863 By Sherri Okamoto

"...disputes about the impact of SB 863 seem to be mostly at the hearing level for now. The situation...is a "quagmire." Expedited hearing requests are on the rise and 'issues in accepted claims are being litigated more than ever' .....it (is) "unfortunate that all of the changes and ambiguities in the law have resulted in often mean-spirited and win-at-all-cost behaviors by certain players that have caused costs to rise and tempers to flare." Alan Gurvey

While California attorneys are busy battling out their differing interpretations of Senate Bill 863 at the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board, disputes about the meaning of the statutes that existed before passage of the 2012 reform are on their way to the Court of Appeals.  So far, 13 workers' compensation cases have been appealed in the month of April. Some of those disputes touch on stat...

Former WCJ Questions Exact Parameters of Weilmann Decision By Sherri Okamoto

"...Faust's reasoning still gets her to the point of saying the unsigned UR is 'of no probative value.' So 'if you want to say that it is a valid UR denial that is useless, fine" ...but the fact remains, it's still "useless." Alan Gurvey

A former workers' compensation judge is cautioning that she thinks a California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board decision from earlier this month on what should happen when a doctor fails to sign a utilization review decision doesn't mean that the decision is necessarily invalid.  Pamela Faust, now with the Zenith Insurance Co.'s legal team, advises that the WCAB decision in Wei...

WCAB Panel Says Unsigned UR Decisions Are Invalid By Sherri Okamoto

Alan Gurvey predicted that litigation will "chip away at UR as we know it until there will be more transparency and more accountability." He said that it "will be a long, drawn-out process" but eventually decisions from these cases will form a "step-by-step guide" on reshaping the UR system. As a practical matter, Michael Win added that requiring UR decisions to be signed by the reviewing doctor gives reassurance that the decision was the reviewer's and not a "cut and paste" job.

The California applicants' attorneys say a Workers' Compensation Appeals Board panel decision issued last week gives them a new avenue to invalidate an adverse utilization-review decision.  In Weilmann v. United Temporary Service, a board panel ruled that UR decisions issued by doctors who had not signed their decisions, and who had not seen the reports of the agreed medical evaluator, were...

Petition Challenges Constitutionality of IMR By Greg Jones

"...he shares the widespread concern among his fellow applicants' attorneys over the limited nature of the appeal process for IMR decisions, so he was happy to see someone has finally taken the issue up on a writ." Michael Win

An injured worker adjudged 100% permanently and totally disabled filed a petition with the California 1st District Court of Appeal seeking a declaration that the independent medical review process that denied her home health services violates the state constitution.   Such a challenge was clearly envisioned by the drafters of Senate Bill 863, who on Aug. 6, 2012, received a memo from a law...

WCAB Says QMEs Can Comment on Conditions outside Specialty By Sherri Okamoto

Michael Win said that the comp scheme allows any QME to assign impairments ratings to any condition, as long as the QME consulted with specialists who would treat those conditions and incorporated their opinions. This, he said, is "one of the duties of a QME."  His firm colleague, Alan Gurvey, suggested that "common sense" dictates that when a condition is within the scope of the QME's practice, the QME ought to be able to comment on it. 

A qualified medical evaluator is not limited to commenting solely on impairments that fall within the scope of treatment for his medical specialty, according to a panel decision by the California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board.  A WCAB panel last month accepted and adopted a decision by Workers' Compensation Judge Rosa Moran holding that a chiropractic QME could and should address all t...

State Fund Seeks Reconsideration of WCAB's Dubon Decision By Sherri Okamoto

"....(he) was even less impressed with the State Fund's arguments. Upon reviewing the petition Tuesday, he derided its contents as 'unadulterated nonsense.' ....(he) posited that "basically what (the State Fund) is saying is that if people break the rules, regardless of what they do, the Appeals Board has no authority to deal with it." Alan  Gurvey

The California State Compensation Insurance Fund on Monday filed a petition seeking reconsideration of the en banc Workers' Compensation Appeals Board decision last month in Dubon v. World Restoration. In the Dubon case, the WCAB ruled that medical necessity is not subject to the independent medical-review process created by Senate Bill 863 when an employer's utilization review is...

Attorneys Predict Upswing in Litigation on UR Denials, Post-Dubon By Sherri Okamoto

"....(he) insists that litigation and uncertainty are part of the growing pains of the comp system, and it's the price participants have to pay to provide injured workers with just outcomes for their cases. "The system is absolutely inequitable...it feels like every UR decision he gets is a denial of authorization for a treatment, and many are "ridiculous." Alan Gurvey

Attorneys up and down the state are voicing strong reactions to the en banc Workers' Compensation Appeals Board decision last week in Dubon v. World Restoration, with some on the defense side decrying the decision as making it virtually impossible for the utilization-review process to work, and those on the applicant side hailing the ruling as the only way their clients can get a fair shake i...

The Santa Clarita Color Run 5K

The Team Members of Rowen, Gurvey & Win join the Happiest 5K on Earth, moving together to make the world a happier, healthier place !  

The Law Firm of Rowen, Gurvey & Win participated in the Santa Clarita 5K Color Run.  The Santa Clarita 5K Color Run was held on February 15, 2014 in Santa Clarita, CA.  The Rowen, Gurvey & Win team had a great time showing off their bright colors and high energized spirits while working on their health and fitness.  The Color Run is also known as the Happiest 5K on the plane...

CAAA 2014 Women’s Symposium

Rowen, Gurvey & Win's Women Represent!

A few of the women from the Law Firm of Rowen, Gurvey & Win attended the CAAA 2014 Women’s Symposium.  The CAAA 2014 Women’s Symposium was held on February 12, 2014 in Sacramento discussing a symposium on working women’s on-the-job injuries, and how they might be better prevented, addressed and cured.  The program was built upon research to generate policies and pra...

Valdez Decision Reopened Debate over Non-Network Doctor Reports By Sherri Okamoto

"...it remains to be seen how the WCAB and courts will interpret the "sole basis," language, as it could arguably mean that the non-MPN report cannot be the sole basis for establishing the compensability of one condition among many, or if it just cannot be the sole basis for establishing the compensability of the worker's overall condition.....he is inclined to think it is the latter." Alan Gurvey

In the past year, the California Supreme Court has handed down only one decision dealing directly with workers' compensation, and naturally the panelists at the California Applicant Attorneys Association winter convention last weekend discussed that ruling as part of a session on the most important cases of 2013. However, the panelists disagreed about what Valdez v. WCAB (Warehouse Demo)&nbs...

Alan Gurvey, Panel Speaker on "Mental Conditions That Impair Professional Competence"

California Applicants' Attorney Association Winter Convention 2014

Alan Gurvey was a featured speaker at the California Applicants’ Attorney Association Convention in Palm Springs on Friday, January 24th, 2014.  Alan’s panel was titled “Mental Conditions That Impair Professional Competence” and the panel members were two other well respected attorneys, Saul Allweiss, Esq. and Terri Cheney, Esq., as well as psychiatrist doctor, Dr. Gab...

Los Angeles Valley Applicants’ Attorneys Association November 2013

Featuring Alan Gurvey as a panel member

Alan Gurvey spoke at the Los Angeles Valley Applicants’ Attorneys Association (also know as LAVAAA) monthly meeting on November 13, 2013 with vocational expert Enrique Vega.  The discussion was “Using the Vocational Expert For An Accurate Permanent Disability Rating.”  This was a very informative discussion that could be very helpful when dealing with permanent disabili...

WCAB Says Applicant Attorney Can't Choose Interpreter for Depos By Sherri Okamoto

"...he thought that Section 5811 was ambiguous though, and if the law really is that the defense has the right to choose the translator for an applicant's deposition, 'then it should be made clear either by regulation or in the statutory language.' He has had problems with interpreters who have been hired by defense firms who are not paying attention during depositions...he has seen interpreters talking on their cell phones or sending text messages during depositions or failing to provide the applicant with a translation when other people in the room are talking to each other, and not to the applicant. Alan Gurvey

Applicants' attorneys do not have the right to select the interpreter who will translate his or her client's words into English at a deposition for his or her comp claim, according to a recent panel decision from the California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board. In a ruling last month, the WCAB panel upheld a ruling by Workers' Compensation Judge David Lauerman that the applicants' attorney doe...

Attorneys, Administration Dispute Cause of QME Process Woes By Sherri Okamoto

"...he has been seeing form letters from the DWC rejecting panel requests based on noncompliance with Regulation 30(b), and he suggested that if the DWC wants the information called for in Form 106-a included in all requests for a QME panel, then it should change Form 106 to say so." Alan Gurvey

The regulators who control California's workers' compensation system and the attorneys who practice within it agree on one thing: The process for getting a qualified medical evaluator panel isn't working the way it's supposed to. But that's about as far as any meeting of minds goes.  The California Division of Workers' Compensation said in a press release last week that up to 90...

Attorneys Question Value of Workers’ Compensation Specialization Programs

"...certification is a good thing to have, especially with the constant influx of new attorneys each year." Alan Gurvey

Pennsylvania became the ninth state in the country to certify attorneys as specialists in workers' compensation this March, joining Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas. A total of 176 attorneys applied to take the exam, but only 171 of them qualified to sit. Of the 155 people who took the test, 149 passed. Forest N. Myers, president o...

California Applicants’ Attorneys Association Summer Convention 2013

Alan Gurvey was a panel member with 3 WCAB Judges speaking on discussing attorney ethics

 Alan Gurvey was a featured speaker at the California Applicants’ Attorney Association Convention in Las Vegas on June 28th, 2013.  The exciting panel included three well respected workers’ compensation judges.  The panel focused on where the line is drawn between advocacy on behalf of a client and bad faith unethical tactics.  Mr. Gurvey’s background as an et...

Employers Lose on Apportionment at High Ct., but Win at 1st DCA By Sherri Okamoto

"....counsel for Nilsen, filed a response to the letters with the Supreme Court attacking the amici's arguments as a 'strawman' fallacy.' ....there was never any finding that any nonindustrial factors contributed to Nilsen's loss-of-earning capacity after his industrial injury, so Nilsen's employer was not being held liable for a disability that was not attributable to his workplace accident. " Alan Gurvey

The California 1st District Court of Appeal on Tuesday ruled in favor of an employer that argued a worker's hearing loss should be apportioned for nonindustrial factors, handing business interests a small consolation prize after the state Supreme Court ruled against them last week in a case that touched on similar apportionment issues. In Acme Steel et al. v. WCAB, No. A137915, the 1st DCA ruled...

1st DCA Sets Oral Argument in Dispute about Worker's PTD Award By Sherri Okamoto

"...he understood the Labor Code as only allowing for apportionment if there is "an overlap" between the prior injury and a later injury. Alan Gurvey represented the injured worker in the Pacific Compensation Insurance Co. case. He said that case had turned on the fact that his client's inability to work was entirely due to 'symptoms that were separate from the nonindustrial injuries.'" Alan Gurvey

The California 1st District Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments next month in a case where an administrative law judge found a worker was permanently and totally disabled from a cumulative trauma injury causing hearing loss, without apportionment for his previously established permanent disability from hearing loss, based on the opinion of a vocational expert about his lost future earning ca...

Stakeholders Say Low Penalties Encourage Carrier Delays By Greg Jones

“…had a similar experience with the same Sedgwick adjuster named in the WCAB decision...the case does not have the 'evidence necessary for publication' ...but when something smells fishy, many times it is. This is, however, an important topic as there are other adjusters who seemingly take it upon themselves to inject their own intransigence into cases without legal justification,” Alan Gurvey 

Allegations that Sedgwick CMS repeatedly denied care to an injured worker who suffered from a fatal infection contracted during surgery illustrates that California workers' compensation carriers have no incentive to authorize treatment or pay benefits or bills on a timely basis because the penalties for violations amount to little more than a slap on the wrist, attorneys, vendors and providers sai...

State Bar Workers’ Compensation 2013 Spring Conference

Alan Gurvey joined other panel members discussing the realties of opiod use

 Alan Gurvey is seen here as a featured presenter at the State Bar of California Workers’ Compensation 2013 Spring Conference at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel.  Mr. Gurvey is also a featured speaker for the same conference in Shell Beach, California.  He and panelists, Robert Rassp, Esq. and Saul Alweiss, Esq. provide an informative presentation on the ...

2nd DCA Asked to Rule on Apportionment for PTD, LC 139.48 By Sherri Okamoto

"...he saw no need for the 2nd DCA to hear the substantive issue in the case since there was no dispute that Nilsen was permanently and totally disabled, and "it is so clear that...but for this injury, he would not have been out of the labor market."  Alan Gurvey

The California 2nd District Court of Appeal is considering whether an employer can apportion liability for a permanent and total disability caused by a worker's loss of earning capacity if the worker also has limitations caused by non-industrial medical conditions. The defense in Pacific Compensation Insurance Co. v. WCAB, No. B245572, contends that it is an issue of first impression for the cour...

California Applicants’ Attorney Association Winter Convention 2013

Rowen, Gurvey & Win Attorney Clint Fedderson featured as a CAAA panelist sharing his insights the new laws passed under SB 863 

Clint Feddersen was a featured panelist at the California Applicants’ Attorney Association Convention in January 2013 in San Diego.  Mr. Feddersen joined three other erudite panelists to talk about the impact of the new laws under SB 863 on the Expedited Hearing process.  Approximately 1400 people were there to listen to the presentation.

California Applicants’ Attorneys Association Summer Convention 2012

Alan Gurvey  was featured on the panel "Using Apportionment as Swords" with WCAB Judge Honorable Lilla Rados

Attorney Alan Gurvey spoke at the California Applicants’ Attorneys Association (CAAA)  Summer Convention 2012 in San Francisco.  Mr. Gurvey explained to the attorneys and doctors in the audience that potential apportionment of causation of a workers’ compensation injury to a prior non-industrial or industrial injury does not necessarily diminish the value of a case....

WCAB Imposes Sanctions on Carrier, Adjuster and Defense Attorney By Sherri Okamoto

"the WCAB's decision was consistent with the statutes, which provide that a party generally can only be deposed once.  "You can't expect to have continuing depositions once the record is closed," he said, and "you can't do it just because you want to."  Michael Win

The California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board ordered $16,510 in sanctions against TIG Specialty Insurance, its claims administrator and its defense attorney for engaging in bad-faith and frivolous actions in a benefits dispute. The panel concluded that the monetary penalty against the carrier, Risk Enterprise Management and counsel Ekatherina "Kate" Zarutsky of Shaw, Jacobsmeyer, Crain &...

Applicant Law Firm Announces Name Change

The Law Firm of Kenneth H. Rowen changes name to the Law Firm of Rowen, Gurvey & Win

A Van Nuys law practice that specializes in representing injured workers will change its name at the first of the year. The Law Firm of Kenneth H. Rowen, in operation for more than three decades, announced Thursday it will become the Law Firm of Rowen, Gurvey & Win effective Jan. 1. Alan Gurvey, managing partner, and Michael Win each have been with the firm for nearly 20 years. Rowan, who f...

Services Today for Applicants' Attorney Ken Rowen By Rob McCarthy

"The reason that I consider him a legend is because of the way he practiced law....The word bulldog is used many times. There's hardly anyone in the state who can negotiate and argue a case the way he can" Alan Gurvey

Los Angeles applicants' attorney Ken Rowen, who was known for his fierce negotiating skills, expertise on chronic pain syndrome and generosity to charities died over the weekend and will be buried today.  Rowen, 65, died after a short illness, according to his law partner Alan Gurvey. Funeral services are at 10 a.m. at Mount Sinai Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, 5950 Forest Lawn Drive, Los...