Advocacy Groups Seek To Overturn California Workers’ Comp Rule
On Tuesday, the ACLU, AARP and other advocacy groups urged a state appeals court to eliminate a workers' compensation rule that they allege improperly links medical risk factors with the amount paid for job-related injuries, the AP/Los Angeles Daily News reports.
Steve Hopcraft, spokesperson for the California Applicants' Attorneys Association, said insurers can legally consider pre-existing injuries or medical conditions that affected the subsequent work-related injury.
However, Hopcraft noted that after California's workers' compensation reforms in 2004, insurers are reducing benefits for injuries that they say workers were more susceptible to because of certain risk factors, such as hypertension in black men or bone-density loss in women.
The advocacy groups maintain that the rule is discriminatory.
Meanwhile, Leah Davis -- an attorney representing the city of Los Angeles, which intervened in the case on behalf of an insurer -- argued that employers and insurers should have to pay to cover only the portion of the disability caused by the workplace injury (Lawrence, AP/Los Angeles Daily News, 11/20).