VALDEZ DECISION AFFIRMED BY THE SUPREME COURT
by Charles Rondeau
On November 14, 2013, the California Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in the case of Elayne Valdez v. Warehouse Demo Services, et al. In its succinct, eleven page opinion authored by Justice Carol A. Corrigan, the Court put to rest a three-and-one-half year battle regarding the admissibility of non-MPN physician reports in proceedings before the WCAB. Setting forth the Court’s holding, Justice Corrigan wrote: “We conclude that [Labor Code] section 4616.6 restricts the admission of medical reports only in proceedings under article 2.3 to resolve disputes over diagnosis and treatment within an MPN.” The Court of Appeal had reached the same conclusion in its underlying decision.  Read More

 

SUPREME COURT TO ISSUE DECISION IN VALDEZ CASE
by Charles Rondeau
On September 4, 2013, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in the long-running case of Elayne Valdez v. Warehouse Demo Services. CAAA participated in oral argument as amicus curiae in support of Ms. Valdez. The Valdez case requires that the Supreme Court decide whether Labor Code section 4616.6 renders the reports of an injured worker’s treating physician inadmissible in proceedings before the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board simply because the physician is not a member of the employer’s Medical Provider Network (“MPN”). The Valdez case also requires the Court to consider the effect of certain aspects of SB 863, the workers’ compensation reform legislation which was enacted last year. Since the decision in this case has wide-reaching implications, many parties and organizations filed briefs in support of one side or the other in the case.  Read More