The Compensability of Vaccine Side Effects

SPECIAL EDITION | Coronavirus & Comp Updates

Read the full 4-part Workers’ Comp and COVID-19 Update.

The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission has awarded medical and indemnity benefits for adverse reactions to vaccines given to prevent the flu, tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, and smallpox. In those cases, the Commission evaluated whether the vaccine was an inherent risk of employment and whether the vaccine caused the claimant’s symptoms.

To determine whether a side effect of a vaccine constitutes a compensable injury by accident, the Commission considers factors including:

  1. whether the alleged side effect can be medically linked to the vaccine;
  2. whether the vaccine was required by the employer; and
  3. whether the vaccine was encouraged by the employer.

CASE LAW ANALYSIS

4 cases where claims of vaccine-related workplace injury were evaluated

CASE NO. 1 | In Overton v. Augusta Correctional Center[1], correctional officers were regularly exposed to blood, urine, and feces at work. Due to these exposures the employer required the claimant to attend a meeting about blood borne pathogens. During the mandatory meeting,

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25 McCandlish Holton  Attorneys Named 2020 Virginia 'Legal Elite'

25 McCandlish Holton attorneys are recognized in the 2020 list of Virginia Business Legal Elite in 11 practice categories. Launched in cooperation with the Virginia Bar Association, the Legal Elite polls lawyers licensed to practice in Virginia each year, asking them to identify which of their peers are the top attorneys in a variety of legal specialties. Below, find the full list of McCandlish Holton attorneys on this year’s Legal Elite list: 

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION:

James M. Snyder

BANKRUPTCY/CREDITORS' RIGHTS:

C. Walker Terry

BusinesS law:

Samuel C. Haisley

Civil Litigation:

D. Cameron Beck, Jr.

Lawrence A. (Lex) Dunn

Michael H. Gladstone

J. Matthew Haynes, Jr.

Lauren E. Hutcheson [Read Lauren’s Profile]

Joseph M. Moore

Brennan C. Morrissett

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McCandlish Holton Ranked for 10 Practice Areas by U.S. News - Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” 2021

McCandlish Holton PC received 10 metropolitan rankings in the 2021 edition of US News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms,” including metropolitan Richmond Tier 1 ratings in 3 practice areas:

Seven other practice areas earned Richmond Metro ratings. To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must first have a lawyer recognized in The Best Lawyers in America©, which recognizes 5% of lawyers practicing in the United States. In 2021, McCandlish Holton PC has 17 attorneys recognized by Best Lawyers. See the full ratings here:  U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” 2021.

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Supreme Court of Virginia Rules on Obvious Sudden Mechanical or Structural Change in Workers’ Compensation Case

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CASE WATCH

In Handel v. Alexandria City Public Schools, (October 15, 2020) the Supreme Court of Virginia found that the Court of Appeals incorrectly applied and defined the legal requirement of an “obvious sudden mechanical or structural change in the body.”

The claimant, a teacher, slipped on a puddle on her classroom floor.  She landed on her right side, alleging injuries to several body parts.   The parties agreed that the claimant sustained several injuries in the fall, but

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19th Annual Workers’ Compensation Seminar is Virtual

JOIN US FROM ANYWHERE

Join us virtually on October 14, 2020 for the premier workers’ compensation event in the Mid-Atlantic Region presented via webcast from Richmond, Virginia. 

We are happy to provide you with the same high-quality programming to which you have become accustomed, with the ability to attend from the safety and comfort of your own home or office.

A FULL DAY OF PROGRAMMING & CE/CEU’s

Our Annual seminar features a full day of timely and useful information. It includes free CE/CEU’s for adjusters, risk managers, employers, nurse case managers, and brokers. Our application is pending for up to 7 credits.

Credits for attending individual sessions are APPROVED for:

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McCandlish Holton Trial Team Successfully Defends Commonwealth’s Uranium Mining Moratorium Against Constitutional Challenge

McCandlish Holton, PC Directors Cameron Beck, Michael Gladstone and Audra Dickens obtained a significant and noteworthy trial outcome on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the matter of Virginia Uranium Inc., et al, v. Commonwealth of Virginia, et al, heard recently in the Circuit Court of Wise County, Virginia. Following a four-day trial in July of 2020, the trial court upheld Virginia’s uranium mining moratorium. The outcome is significant because of its statewide implications for the human and environmental health of Virginians.    

Background of the Litigation

After unsuccessful efforts lobbying the legislature to reverse the General Assembly’s 1983 temporary uranium mining moratorium, Virginia Uranium Inc. and land owners of a uranium deposit in rural Pittsylvania County, Virginia, filed lawsuits in federal and state court in 2015 to remove the Commonwealth’s uranium mining moratorium. The Plaintiffs

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17 McCandlish Holton Attorneys Named in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021

Thirteen lawyers from McCandlish Holton were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America©, adding four new names to the list of those recognized for 2021. Additionally, four lawyers were named to the inaugural roster of Best Lawyers: Ones To Watch®. 

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Payment of Medical Bills Sought Despite None Owed

WORKERS COMPENSATION CASE WATCH

The claimant had previously settled his workers’ compensation claim.  Following settlement approval, the claimant, by counsel, filed a claim seeking full payment of medical services from a medical provider.  Partial payment of the bills had been made, with an outstanding balance of approximately $25,000 remaining. 

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Proposed Bills Seek to Create Presumption for some COVID-19 Claims under the Workers’ Compensation Act

COVID-19 EDITION | Coronavirus & Comp Updates

LEGISLATIVE ALERT

      • Several bills regarding COVID-19 and its treatment under workers’ compensation have been introduced at this week’s Special Session of the Virginia General Assembly.

      • Specifically, these bills seek to establish a presumption of compensability for COVID-19 have been referred to committee for consideration. See details below for proposed bills: HB 5028; SB 5066, SB 5097, and SB 5104;  and SB 5022.

HB 5028 

Proposed amendment to Va. Code §65.2-402.1, to be retroactive to January 1, 2020: COVID-19 causing the death of, or any health condition or impairment resulting in total or partial disability of, any (i) firefighter, as defined in § 65.2-102; (ii) law-enforcement officer, as

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Virginia’s Department of Labor and Industry Enacts COVID-Related Workplace Safety Standards

Requirements for employers and what employers should do now 

§ i6VAC25-220

By Samantha Stecker Otero

DOWNLOAD 1 PAGE PDF WITH KEY POINTS FROM THIS SUMMARY

On July 15, 2020, Virginia became the first state in the country to adopt an Emergency Standard for COVID-Related Workplace Safety, which applies to all employers in the Commonwealth.  In essence, the regulations require employers to analyze their worksites and the tasks that each employee performs, in order to effectively categorize the COVID-related risks inherent in those workplaces and/or tasks.

Once the categorization of risk is made, employers will then be required to abide by various requirements for each level of risk. The Emergency Standard is in effect, however the requirements regarding training and implementation of infectious disease plans (for employers in the “very high”, “high” and “medium” risk categories) will not become effective for 30-60 days. Additional guidance will be forthcoming from DOLI.

Virginia employers will need to comply with the Emergency Standard or potentially face

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