Limit Interference with Medical Treatment; Eliminate Anti-Female and Anti-Immigrant Bias; Protect Cumulative Trauma Rights

Contact: Steve Hopcraft 916/457-5546,; Twitter: @shopcraft

SACRAMENTO, CA - The California Applicants’ Attorneys Association (CAAA), whose members represent Californians injured on the job, today announced its policy agenda and leadership team for the coming year. CAAA targeted three changes to make California’s workers’ compensation insurance system work more fairly and quickly:

  1. Limit insurers’ interference with medical treatment;
  2. Eliminate anti-female and anti-immigrant bias; and,
  3. Protect “cumulative trauma” claims for injuries that develop over time

CAAA President Bernardo de la Torre, a solo practitioner from Los Angeles specializing in fighting for California’s injured workers, said his priorities would include "limiting insurers’ constant interference with the doctor-patient relationship by denying doctors’ recommended medical treatment. Insurance carriers deny three and a half million treatment recommendations a year, 80% of them from their own network doctors. Denying needed medical treatment is just a way to keep from paying for legitimate medical care. ”

De la Torre said CAAA would work to “eliminate bias against women and immigrants in workers’ compensation insurance. Insurance companies openly penalize women for lower bone density caused by osteoporosis, pregnancy and menopause. Insurers blame conditions that had no effect on doing your job as contributing causes of many workplace injuries for women.”

De la Torre said, “Gov. Wilson barred undocumented immigrants from receiving compensation for workplace injuries from the Uninsured Employers Fund (UEF), for claims against employers who refused to buy insurance coverage. CAAA aims to end this discrimination. If undocumented immigrants are hired by employers, then those workers’ on the job injuries should be treated like any other Californian’s.”

De la Torre has practiced workers’ compensation law since 1985. Bernardo has won countless awards. De la Torre graduated from UCLA law school, and opened an immigration law firm before going into the workers’ compensation field. Bernardo has been recognized as Attorney of the Year by the Mexican American Bar Association of Los Angeles County, and is a strong voice in the Mexican community. Bernardo hosts a radio program each Tuesday evening at 9pm on “La Ranchera,” KHJ-AM.

CAAA’s leaders for 2014-2015 also include: Jim Butler, ButlerViadro, Legislative Chair; Bert Arnold of Boxer & Gerson, Esq., President-Elect; Christel Schoenfelder, Rose, Klein & Marias, Esq. Treasurer; and, Jason Marcus, of Marcus & Regalado, Secretary.

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