Audra Dickens Named Up And Coming 2019

Director Audra M. Dickens has been named as a 2019 Up and Coming Honoree by Virginia Lawyers Weekly. The “Up & Coming Lawyers” awards program, now in its fourth year, recognizes lawyers across the commonwealth who are making their mark within their first 10 years of practice, both in the legal world and in their communities. VLW identifies these honorees as the lawyers who are the leaders of the profession in the future.

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Commission Determines “Out of Work” Note is a “Light Duty” Note

 

Workers' Compensation Case Watch

In Umana v. Clark Construction Group, the claimant was injured in a work accident.  The claimant saw a doctor for his work-related injuries.  In his report, the doctor outlined the claimant’s light duty restrictions but also said “there is no light duty work available, so he remains unable to work at this time.”  In his office notes each month, the doctor repeated that because there was no light duty available, the claimant remained unable to work.  The Deputy Commissioner found that the claimant was totally disabled during those periods.

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Defending Your Negligent Entrustment Case

By: Megan Watson

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Litigation Obtained Citizenship Oath for MAVNI Army Specialist Waiting Years

Litigation is often the only way forward for immigrants. That was what U.S. Army Specialist Junfei Ge concluded as he waited nearly three years for the “expedited” naturalization he was promised by the U.S. government when he enlisted under the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program.

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9 McCandlish Holton Attorneys Named 2020 Best Lawyers In America

Nine lawyers from McCandlish Holton were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers In America© for 2020. The entire group of recognized attorneys have been continuously recognized for five years or longer. 

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Claimant Refuses to Attend FCE, Commission Denies Employer’s Application for Hearing

 

Workers' Compensation Case Watch

In Manion v. Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Ctr., the claimant needed a new physician because her doctor was no longer providing pain management. The employer asked a nurse case manager to find a new doctor for the claimant and to obtain a Functional Capacity Evaluation (“FCE”) from the physician. The nurse got an FCE referral from the new doctor and scheduled the appointment. She told the claimant about the appointment in person and left her several message about it. The claimant said she would not attend and cancelled the FCE.                                                                                                                                   

The defendant filed an Employer’s Application for Hearing alleging refusal of medical treatment because the claimant did not go to the FCE. The Deputy Commissioner denied the Application because the scheduled FCE was not medically necessary treatment. On review, the Full Commission cited the longstanding principal that the claimant’s medical treatment is directed by the treating physician and not the defendants. They noted that a

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Help Me Help You: 3 Things Your Attorney Needs to Successfully Defend Your Insured

By: Jim Snyder

When a new case first comes in, certain pieces of information facilitate our initial investigation. Of course, when a lawsuit is the first notice of loss, everyone is starting the defense with little to no information to pass along. However, in most instances, the client has received some essential information before the claim becomes a lawsuit and finds its way to us.

Immediate access to these three things helps us attack the case:

1) Accurate contact information for the named insured and the tortfeasor, if different. This would include at least a phone number and a physical address. Most files arrive with the name and address of the named insured, but being able to pick

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320-Mile Round Trip to Doctor Unreasonable

 

Workers' Compensation Case Watch

In Clarke v. Hughes Center, LLC., the claimant established a treating physician relationship with a pain management doctor in Danville, VA. The claimant later moved out of state, but continued having appointments with the same treating physician. The claimant was traveling 320 miles round-trip to see the doctor. The defendants filed an Employer’s Application for Hearing seeking a change in treating physician. The Deputy Commissioner denied the Employer’s Application.  

On review, the Full Commission listed the six-factors it considers to justify a change in treating physician: 1) inadequate treatment is being rendered; 2) a specialist’s treatment is needed but

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Duty to Market - A Return to Basics

By: Brian M. Frame

Looking through the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act, you won’t find “marketing” or “duty to market” anywhere in the legislated sections of the Act. Instead, this frequently contested topic appears deep in the case notes of §65.2-510, a statutory provision dealing with the claimant’s refusal of employment.  

HISTORY

In J.A. Foust Coal Co. v. Messer, 195 VA. 762 (1954), the Supreme Court laid the ground work for the modern marketing rule with this single sentence: “one who has suffered a partial physical disability may obtain total incapacity payments if, because of his disability, he is unable to market his remaining capacity for work.” The consequence of this new rule was that the partially disabled

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No Penalty Due When Timely Payment Mailed with Signature Required

 

Workers' Compensation Case Watch

In Woods v. Mecklenburg County Public Schools, VA00001320337, (7/19/19), the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission declined to assess a 20% penalty against the defendants for late payment of benefits.

The claimant settled his case and the Commission approved the settlement Order. The parties had thirty days to appeal the Order. Under Va Code § 65.2-524 payment was due within two weeks after the appeal period expired or a 20% penalty would be added. One day before the penalty would apply, the defendant mailed payment to the claimant at his address of record by certified mail, requiring a signature from the recipient. 

The claimant argued that payment was late because of the signature requirement.  The claimant also argued that the Commission should have taken judicial notice of

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