News: 2009 Press Release
For Release: May 4, 2009
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Poizner Files Amicus Briefs to Urge Modification of Almaraz and Ogilvie Decisions
Faulty Legal Decision Could Result in 100s of Millions of Dollars in Increased Workers’ Comp Costs
Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner filed amicus briefs in the Almaraz/Guzman and Ogilvie cases, urging the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board to modify or narrow its previous decisions.
"The Legislature's clear intent is that the Permanent Disability Rating Schedule (PDRS) and determinations of permanent disability be consistent, uniform and objective," said a brief filed on Friday. These decisions will instead "promote unpredictability and additional costs and expenses to the workers' compensation system."
The briefs also argued that changes made to the PDRS should only apply to current and new cases and not retroactively.
"Such modification should only apply prospectively from the Appeal's Board's determination and not only to cases previously resolved or subject to being reopened," said the brief.
Commissioner Poizner has led recent efforts to control costs in the workers compensation system. Last week, he asked the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau to withdraw the portion of the requested increase in the Claims Cost Benchmark related to these two cases until it determined what the Appeals Board and courts will do. He has also called a second hearing to determine why medical treatment costs are increasing. That hearing will be held on June 8 at 1 p.m. in Sacramento.
To view amicus briefs, please select Almaraz/Guzman or Olgivie.
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