May 29, 2020

Dear Clients, Friends and Colleagues:

We continue to wish you, your families and loved ones the greatest of safety and the best of health, during these unprecedented times of adversity, challenge and uncertainty.  We will make it through!

Right now, you are probably getting inundated by webinars, e mails and other information laden communications, so we will keep this one brief.

  • SB 1159 – Creates rebuttable presumption that injury or death related to exposure to COVID-19 is work related for critical workers in both public and private sectors. Requires injury to develop or occur while critical worker is in service to an essential critical infrastructure employer. (Hearing set for 06/01/2020)
  • Governor’s Executive Order: 05/06/2020 (expires 07/06/2020) COVID-19 related injuries presumed work-related if employee is diagnosed or tests positive within 14 days of work at employer’s place of employment, at employer direction.  Presumption is rebuttable.
  • DWC: Updated DIR/DIA Newsline 05/28/2020[i]:  Beginning 06/08/2020, DWC will continue to hear all matters by telephone, via assigned judges’ conference lines. This includes, status conferences, priority conferences, MSC’s, expedited hearings and case-in-chief trials.  DWC to hear up to 3 lien conferences per judge per calendar. Others to be continued.  All lien trials to be continued.
  • Telehealth: Emergency QME regulations submitted to OAL on 05/04/2020. These pertain to the telehealth regulations and electronic service, as previously reported on.[ii]  This is limited to AOE/COE or termination of indemnity benefits or work restrictions.  (Rule 78 now renamed 46.2).  PQME/AME may reschedule in-person medical-legal appointments within 90 days of end of state-wide and/or local stay-at-home orders.

I believe there is a good chance the DWC may decide to extend the system of telephonic hearings other than case-in-chief witness trials,  even beyond the COVID-19 era, since it is far more efficient, practical and cost advantageous.

Please watch for our V-Log every Wednesday at www.icomplaw.com/v-log/

Thanks, and be well.


[i] DIR/DIA Newsline Release No. 2020-48, 05/28/2020

[ii] https://icomplaw.com/blog/


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