Calif. Supreme Court rules on workers’ comp attorneys’ fees — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Calif. Supreme Court rules on workers’ comp attorneys’ fees

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The California Supreme Court has ruled that California law doesn’t entitle granting of attorneys’ fees when employees successfully fight for specific medical treatments. It limited attorneys’ fee payments only to cases involving permanent benefit termination.

That’s good news because fewer attorneys will take workers’ comp cases if they aren’t guaranteed payment.

Recent case:
While working at a juvenile treatment facility, Dwight Smith hurt his shoulder and neck and developed psychological problems. He claimed he needed injections to relieve back pain. After successfully suing to have treatment approved, Smith demanded attorneys’ fees for his trouble.

The California Supreme Court said the law allows attorneys’ fees only when employees are fighting to keep their benefits going. (Smith v. Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, No. S150528, Supreme Court of California, 2009)

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