NWCDN Members regularly post articles and summary judgements in workers’ compensations law in your state.
Select a state from the dropdown menu below to scroll through the state specific archives for updates and opinions on various workers’ compensation laws in your state.
Contact information for NWCDN members is also located on the state specific links in the event you have additional questions or your company is seeking a workers’ compensation lawyer in your state.
Gotte vs Air Conduit, LLC 22-C-0097 (La. 6/8/2022) 347 So. 2d 860
(OWC Judge Melissa St. Mary District 03)
Summary: The Court refused to grant a Writ of Certiorari on a Third Circuit Judgment affirming
the reduction of a claimant’s benefits due to his failure to cooperate with vocational
rehabilitation with two dissenting opinions urging legislative action.
The claimant was collecting SEB following a shoulder injury which required multiple surgeries.
The employer retained a vocational counselor to provide rehabilitation in accordance with
Louisiana workers compensation law. The counselor was unable to contact the claimant or his
attorney after several attempts. For this reason, the employer availed itself of the 50 %
compensation reduction provision in LA RS 23:1226(B)(3)(c) without the need for a hearing.
The claimant filed a disputed claim for compensation and the matter went to hearing. The
Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Office found that the claimant refused to cooperate with
vocational rehabilitation and reduced his compensation by 50%. The claimant argued on appeal
to the Third Circuit that the vocational counselor had a conflict of interest with the claimant
because she was chosen by the employer.
The Third Circuit upheld the employers’ reduction based on a prior Supreme Court opinion
holding this particular conflict of interest has been legislatively resolved.
The claimant applied for a Writ of Certiorari, which was denied by a majority of Justices. Justice
Genovese disagreed, and would have granted the writ. He opined the reduction of claimant’s
benefits without a hearing amounted to “sham rehabilitation” and a denial of due process.
Perceiving a Justice Griffin concurred in the writ denial, admonishing “this area of the law
warrants legislative reform.”
Boudreaux v. Take 5, LLC 2022-42 (La. App. 3 Cir. 10/5/2022) Not yet released for
(OWC Judge Paula Murphy District 04)
Summary: the claimant’s orthopedic injury while performing regular job duties caused by no
unusual strain is a compensable injury.
The claimant was employed as an assistant manager at an oil change station. He was changing
oil in the pit under the cars, which requires him to unscrew tight oil filters over his head. At this
particular station, the filters were very tightly fixed, requiring the claimant to apply extra force.
He reported a back injury about a week later, due to having struggled with several filters
throughout the day.
The case went to trial and the employer moved for a directed verdict (involuntary dismissal). The
Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Hearings Officer denied the motion and entered judgment in
favor of the claimant, finding that he proved an injury.
The employer appealed the finding of a work injury, as the claimant did not identify an “actual,
identifiable, precipitous event” as the cause of his injury. The Third Circuit disagreed with this
analysis, citing precedent that an injury is compensable if the claimant can identify with some
particularity the manifestation of the accidental injury.