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.
A Cautionary Tale for Non-Subscribers – The Houston Court of Appeals recently affirmed
a $680,000 judgment in a negligence suit against Katy Springs & Manufacturing, Inc. Had the
company acquired workers’ compensation insurance for its employees, the suit would have been
barred by the exclusive remedy provisions of the Labor Code. The accident involved what the
opinion describes to be a company-made wire real that lacked any safety features and which was
recognized by several Katy Springs employees as being unsafe. Katy Springs & Manufacturing, Inc.
V. Joseph Favolora, Houston Court of Appeals – 14th Dist. 2015 WL 5093232.
Big Brother is Watching – Dr. Howard Douglas is the co-founder and medical director of
Western Medical Evaluators, Inc. (WME), a company that provided medical services in workers’
compensation disputes to entities insured by Texas Mutual Insurance Company. WME contracted
with designated doctors to perform designated doctor exams for workers’ compensation claims. Dr.
Douglas routinely billed the maximum compensation of four hours for every functional capacity
evaluation (FCE) performed, even though Texas Mutual’s investigation revealed that the average
time for an FCE by a WME technician was only thirty-nine minutes. Dr. Douglas was convicted
of defrauding Texas Mutual, a third degree felony, and the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed.
Douglas v. State, No. 03-13-00092-CR, 2105 WL 5097573 (Tex. App.– Dallas August 26, 2015).
Employers and Carriers Beware – Remember that in In re XL Specialty Ins. Co., the Texas
Supreme Court determined that in the statutory workers’ compensation insurance policy context,
the insurer is not the representative of the insured; rather, the insurer is the client and party to a
pending workers’ compensation matter and retains counsel on its own behalf. In a lawsuit involving
a standard liability insurance policy, only the insured is a party to the case, and the insurer retains
counsel on the insured’s behalf. So, in workers’ compensation cases, the communication between
the insurer and the employer is not privileged, but in other cases involving employer liability
coverage, such communications are privileged. We note that attempts at legislation to have the
privilege apply in workers’ compensation failed this past legislative session.