The firm is pleased to announce the association of Stephen T. Gargaro as associate attorney in our Encino office.
On August 29, 2017, Jonathan Freeman, managing attorney of DGC’s San Francisco office, obtained a “take nothing” order from a WCJ at the Oakland WCAB. No reconsideration was sought, so the decision is final.
The claimed injury involved an itinerant teacher who regularly rode a bicycle to and from work and was injured during her commute by an allegedly negligent automobile driver. The accident caused injury to the applicant’s neck and left shoulder and fractured her left humerus. The employer timely denied liability for the claim based on the going and coming rule.
The employer referred the file to DGC in March of 2017, and the case was immediately fast-tracked for trial, which was completed in July 2017.
At trial, the applicant attempted to show that her home was a second worksite due to the work she did at home, including preparing lesson plans and sending and receiving emails. The applicant also tried to link her commute to her work by emphasizing the work tools and materials she transported to and from her home each day, including musical instruments and paperwork.
DGC was successful in asserting the going and coming rule to completely defeat applicant’s claim by showing that the applicant’s situation fit closely with existing case law barring regular-commute injuries. The WCJ also emphasized – as has the California Supreme Court – that there is no special exception to the going and coming rule for white collar workers who regularly take work home but are not specifically required or instructed to do so.
Findings and Award & Opinion and Decision: Click here
On September 9, 2017, having committed perjury under oath in violation of Penal Code Section 664/118(a), a hospital worker pled guilty in the Los Angeles County Superior Court to three felony counts of workers’ compensation fraud under Insurance Code 1871.4.
A specific eye injury was claimed from a fire extinguisher falling to the floor and discharging chemicals into the claimant’s eyes. Medical treatment stalled. Client referred matter to DGC’s Robert Robinson. At his suggestion, video surveillance was obtained documenting applicant’s capabilities. Claimant’s deposition was scheduled, and testimony inconsistent with claimant’s capabilities was obtained. Claimant was boxed into denying under oath any ability to drive a car or water the lawn, having previously been recorded on video doing both denied activities. Detailed advocacy letters shaping the evidence assisted the ophthalmic QME in finding no permanent ophthalmic disability and no reason for claimant’s continued claims of eye disability other than “hysterical blindness” or malingering.
Working with Probe SIR, the full deposition testimony, surveillance video, and med-legal evidence were packaged and submitted to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and shepherded through prosecutorial review. Now convicted, the claimant was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $12,946 on or before February 27, 2018.
Felony Complaint For Arrest Warrant: Click here