News Articles2020-06-05T08:04:51-07:00

News Articles

William K. Dietz, Founding Partner Of Dietz, Gilmor & Chazen, Retires

Dietz, Gilmor & Chazen, a statewide California workers’ compensation defense firm, announces the retirement of William K. Dietz, Esq.

William K. Dietz is retiring after four decades of legal practice in the state of California. During his long career, he has earned recognition as an expert in the field of workers’ compensation while maintaining his reputation for integrity and fairness among his peers, employees, and clients.

Dietz, Gilmor & Chazen began as Dietz, Gilmor & Associates in 1997 as a small, one-office firm. Mr. Dietz has been integral to the expansion of the firm, which currently has eight offices and over 40 attorneys. He attributes the firm’s expansion and success to the collective effort of partners, attorneys, and all of the employees who demonstrate great attitudes and professionalism in their work.

It is with pride in the firm and confidence in its continued success that he leaves the firm’s future in the hands of partners Mark Gilmor and Avery Chazen.

In retirement, Bill and his wife, Sherry, plan to travel, spend time with their family, enjoy the beach and life in general.

Media Contacts:                                                                                                                      

Company Name: Dietz, Gilmor & Chazen, APC
Full Name: David Jankosky, DGC Client Services (213-278-1513)
Email Address: djankosky@dgcattorneys.com

May 28th, 2021|News Articles|

Christopher Vincent, Associate Attorney (DGC Orange County), Settles Skull Fracture Claim with Pro Per Claimant and Precludes Protracted Litigation

This matter was referred to Chris Vincent on February 11, 2021 with instruction to draft a C&R for $20,000.00 to secure the unrepresented injured worker’s agreement so that an Order Approving could be attained. The facts were not run-of-the-mill.

The claimant, a restaurant worker, had a history of grand mal seizures since age 15 and would typically experience one every two to three months. While working on March 4, 2019, he did have such a seizure, causing him to fall to the ground, hitting his head and losing consciousness. He was rushed to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a skull fracture, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and subdural hematoma.

Fortunately, the claimant made a substantial recovery, although he continued to experience headaches, fatigue, nervousness, moments of depression, trouble processing stimuli, and difficulty with short-term memory. He was temporarily totally disabled for about six and a half months, then gradually returned to part-time and eventually full-time work. He later voluntarily separated from his employment.

On June 17, 2020, he was evaluated by a panel QME neurologist, who assessed 8% WPI based on benign forgetfulness. Any psychological factors were deferred to the appropriate specialist. The claimant did not request a second QME panel. The PD rating was 11%.

Chris opted for a low-pressure approach, with telephone communication and occasional follow-up emails, building rapport and allowing the claimant time to review the settlement documents and consider options. Chris promptly and thoughtfully answered a number of the claimant’s questions regarding the proposed settlement. In turn, the claimant agreed to, signed, and returned the C&R to Chris in decidedly quick fashion. An Order Approving was issued on March 16, 2021.

This claim had a high risk of multiple additional QME panels and a substantially higher settlement if it became litigated. Based on the communication with the claimant, he appeared to be a sophisticated individual who nonetheless could have chosen to retain counsel. However, it is most likely that the claims examiner’s and Chris’ cordial, low-key approach played a large role in this pro per claimant’s decision to settle.

You can read redacted versions of the Compromise and Release and Order Approving Compromise and Release below.

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Compromise and Release: Click here

Order Approving Compromise and Release: Click here

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Media Contacts:                                                                                                                      

Company Name: Dietz, Gilmor & Chazen, APC
Full Name: David Jankosky, DGC Client Services (213-278-1513)
Email Address: djankosky@dgcattorneys.com

May 14th, 2021|News Articles|

DGC Partner, Alan Cooper (Greater Los Angeles Office), Certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization for Workers’ Compensation Law

DGC Partner in Greater Los Angeles, Alan Cooper, has earned his Certificate of Specialization in Workers’ Compensation Law from the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization as of April 1, 2021.

Becoming a Certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law with the State Bar of California is a process which can be undertaken only every two years. The process begins with a comprehensive exam lasting 6 ½ hours. The four-hour morning session is spent writing eight essays. In the afternoon, there are 75 multiple-choice questions to answer within 2 ½ hours. In addition, an aspiring candidate must submit written evaluations from judges and other attorneys, along with proof of completion of at least 45 MCLE hours. After the requirements have been met, a final decision on certification generally takes six months.

Statewide, Certified Specialists are recognized as authorities on issues of importance within their specialization and are identified as such when interviewed by media. Only specialists can be searched by practice area on the California State Bar website.

Dietz, Gilmor & Chazen congratulates Alan Cooper on his most recent accomplishment.

More information can be found here:
http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/Legal-Specialization/About-Certified-Specialization

Media Contacts:                                                                                                                      

Company Name: Dietz, Gilmor & Chazen, APC
Full Name: David Jankosky, DGC Client Services (213-278-1513)
Email Address: djankosky@dgcattorneys.com

April 1st, 2021|News Articles|

Celebrating DGC Attorney Jason L. Buscaino, Appointed WCJ In San Bernardino

Dietz, Gilmor & Chazen is pleased to announce the appointment of Attorney Jason L. Buscaino as a workers’ compensation judge for the DWC district office in San Bernardino.  Our firm is grateful to Jason for the leadership and integrity he has exhibited both in his relationships within the firm and in his successful representation of our clients.

Jason has been a skillful defense litigator for DGC clients, utilizing his extensive legal knowledge and excellent communication skills.  He has earned the respect of claims examiners, employers, and brokers for his ability to settle complex claims while considering the interests of everyone involved.

Jason is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, and the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.  He had gained experience working in civil matters and in the representation of applicants before joining DGC.  Partner Mark Gilmor praised Jason’s achievements saying, “It makes perfect sense that the State would seek to have on the bench a person with Jason’s character, ethical standards, legal knowledge, and varied experience.”

Jason will begin his position with the State of California later in January 2021.

On behalf of our entire DGC family, thank you, Jason.  We wish you all the best in your new endeavor.  We will miss you at DGC.

Sincerely,

Bill Dietz, Mark Gilmor, and Avery Chazen

Media Contacts:                                                                                                                      

Company Name: Dietz, Gilmor & Chazen, APC
Full Name: David Jankosky, DGC Client Services (213-278-1513)
Email Address: djankosky@dgcattorneys.com

January 12th, 2021|News Articles|

Dietz, Gilmor & Chazen Announces Alan Cooper as New Firm Partner

Dietz, Gilmor & Chazen, APC, is proud to announce the promotion of Alan Cooper to firm Partner.

San Diego, CA – 10/02/2020– Dietz, Gilmor & Chazen, APC, a California statewide law firm practicing exclusively in workers’ compensation defense, subrogation, asbestos, Labor Code §132a, and serious and willful misconduct claims, promotes Alan Cooper, Esq. to Partner.

“In recognition of his significant achievements and commitment to the firm, Alan has earned the title of partner, now conferred on him by the managing partners,” said Rob Robinson, Partner and Managing Attorney of the Encino office, speaking on behalf of firm Principals Bill Dietz, Mark Gilmor and Avery Chazen.

About Dietz, Gilmor & Chazen, APC

DGC was established in 1997 and has now grown to eight California Offices, with 42 attorneys, providing defense for insurance carriers, brokers, third-party administrators, private and public employers, and large self-insured groups.  The firm’s guiding principles are based on providing exceptional customer service and legal representation.  DGC provides the expertise needed to reduce claim costs and achieve prompt case resolution.  Please visit the firm’s website for more information at https://dgcattorneys.com

Media Contacts:                                                                                                                      

Company Name: Dietz, Gilmor & Chazen, APC
Full Name: David Jankosky, DGC Client Services (213-278-1513)
Email Address: djankosky@dgcattorneys.com

November 6th, 2020|News Articles|

DGC Attorney, Erin Ward-Dugan (Partner of Litigation Management, Long Beach), Obtains Take Nothing Against Serial Claimant

The seventh time was not the charm for the claimant.  Between February 2014 and June 2018, she had been successful in obtaining three settlements of six workers’ compensation claims (five CTs and one specific) that she filed against the employer after being terminated upon the discovery that multiple Social Security numbers she was using were invalid. The settlements totaled $24,700.00.  Either before or after each settlement, she applied for work at a different employer location, using a variation of her name and a different SSN.

She succeeded in being hired at a fourth employer location in October 2017, but in May 2018, after about six months, she was terminated for cause.  Then in May 2019, she filed a post-termination CT claim, alleging injury to her right knee.  The claim was promptly denied on the grounds of being a post-termination claim and lacking supporting medical evidence.

In September 2019, the claims administrator asked Erin Ward-Dugan to substitute in and take over defending the claim.  After quickly completing discovery, she recommended taking the case to trial.  There did not appear to be substantial medical evidence to support a finding that the applicant had sustained an injury, and there was ample evidence for attacking the applicant’s credibility.

Trial took place on December 17, 2019.  The applicant’s attorney declined to call the applicant as a witness and proceed with direct examination, so Erin called her to the stand for cross-examination.  Erin proceeded with detailed questioning about her prior claims, including all of her various aliases and false Social Security numbers used to obtain employment, her numerous post-termination claims of injury to many of the same body parts, and the settlements obtained.  When questioned about the current CT injury claim, the applicant tried to change the injury to a specific.  She admitted that she did not seek medical treatment for over a year after her termination and did not tell her doctor about her injury history.  When asked questions about her work for a subsequent employer (essentially the same type of work she did for the defendant), the claimant invoked the Fifth Amendment.

Just five weeks later, the WCJ issued a Findings and Order that claimant take nothing.  There was no substantial evidence to support a finding of injury.  The limited medical reports that claimant relied on were deficient since the claimant had not disclosed her multiple prior alleged injuries, claim history, or subsequent job with a different employer to the doctor.  Although the WCJ did not directly comment on the claimant’s credibility, there is little doubt that the documentary evidence that Erin introduced and the damaging testimony that she elicited on cross-examination rendered the claimant a poor witness on her own behalf.

The applicant did not appeal the Findings and Order.  The case has been referred to the SIU for additional fraud investigation.

You can read redacted versions of the Minutes of Hearing and Summary of Evidence and Findings of Fact and Findings And Order below.

 

Minutes of Hearing and Summary of Evidence: Click here

Findings of Fact and Findings And Order: Click here

 

Media Contacts:
Company Name:  Dietz, Gilmor & Chazen, APC
Industry:  California workers’ compensation defense
Full Name:  David Jankosky, DGC Client Services (818-654-9911, Ex. 1231)
Email Address:  djankosky@dgcattorneys.com

March 13th, 2020|News Articles|

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