Impending Legalization of Marijuana in Virginia Raises New Issues for Workers’ Compensation Compensability

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Court of Appeals: Pharmacies are Health Care Providers Subject to One Year Statute of Limitations

WORKERS COMPENSATION CASE WATCH

In Summit Pharmacy, Inc. v. Costco Wholesale, Record No. 0970-20-1 (Mar. 30, 2021), the claimant was under a medical award. Summit Pharmacy (“Summit”) provided prescriptions to the claimant for her injury and the employer made partial payments to Summit for those prescriptions. Four years after Summit received its last partial payment from the employer, Summit filed a claim seeking full repayment.

Va. Code § 65.2-605.1 allows health care providers to file claims contesting the

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Updates From The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission & General Assembly

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION DEFENSE DIGEST | FEB 2021

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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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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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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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Supreme Court Affirms Permanency Ratings Given Before Implantation of a Prosthesis

WORKERS COMPENSATION CASE WATCH

In Loudoun County v. Richardson, the claimant injured his hip in a work accident.  The claimant’s treating physician performed a hip replacement surgery and then gave the claimant an 11% rating for loss of use.  Later, the treating physician was asked to calculate the claimant’s level of impairment before the hip replacement surgery, which the doctor determined was 74%.

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