WCCA Case Summaries November and December 2018

WCCA case summaries for November and December, 2018, made possible by the Associates and Law Students of CWK.  Click HERE for the full case summaries.

  • Issue: Diagnosis and Causation of a Psychological Condition – Tami L. Petrie v. Todd County, No. WC18-6176 (W.C.C.A. November 19, 2018)
  • Issue: Medical Treatment & Expense – Roux v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, No. WC18-6174 (November 28, 2018)
  • Issue: Expert Medical Opinion – Crosby v .TAK Commc’ns, Inc., No. WC18-6190 (W.C.C.A. December 14, 2018)
  • Issue: Medical Treatment & Expense – Reasonable and Necessary; Evidence – Expert Medical Opinion – Thaemert v. Honeywell International, Inc. No. WC18-6164 (WCCA Dec. 20, 2018)
  • Issue: Causation – Substantial Evidence; Temporary Aggravation – Cole v. Lametti & Sons, Inc., No. WC18-6195 (W.C.C.A. Dec. 20, 2018):

 

New Minnesota Supreme Court Decision: Claude Bruton v. Smithfield Foods, Inc., A18-0914 (Minn. Feb. 27, 2019)

Issue: Whether temporary total disability benefits can be offset by the amount of short-term disability benefits previously paid under an employer’s self-funded and self-administered plan for the same period of disability.

 

Answer: No.

 

In this case, Claude Bruton (“Employee”) sustained an injury after a fall while working for Smithfield Foods, Inc. (“Self-Insured Employer”), which maintained its own workers’ compensation and short-term disability policy. Employee’s workers’ compensation claim was denied, but he was paid short-term disability benefits through March 26, 2017. After Employee filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, Self-Insured Employer admitted liability for the injury. As a result, Self-Insured Employer began paying temporary total disability benefits starting on March 27, 2017. They also paid retroactive temporary total disability to make up the difference, but elected to offset the previously paid short-term disability benefits. It was argued that since Employee had already been paid short-term disability benefits, paying temporary total disability would result in double recovery. At the Hearing, the compensation judge agreed, and determined that Self-Insured Employer was entitled to offset short-term disability benefits already paid. The matter was appealed.

 

The WCCA reversed and determined that there was no statutory authority for an offset of TTD benefits against previously paid STD benefits. The WCCA concluded that the STD benefits did not constitute wage-continuation payments, and that Self-Insured Employer had no contractual right to reimbursement. The matter was appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

 

The Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed. They agreed held that temporary total disability benefits cannot be offset by short-term disability benefits previously paid under a self-funded and self-administered plan. The Court relied on the fact that the Legislature has enacted provisions that provide employers with certain offset remedies, but those statutes are not applicable to self-funded short-term disability. This is an area for the Minnesota Legislature to address instead of the Minnesota Supreme Court.

 

In the concurrence opinion, Justice Thissen wrote that this decision does not foreclose an employer from seeking reimbursement for short-term disability benefits paid to an employee under a contract that requires such reimbursement. In other words, if a STD plan allows for an offset or reimbursement contractually, then such recovery may be allowed.

 

This summary provided by Parker Olson.

 

WCCA Case Summaries September & October 2018

WCCA case summaries for September and October, made possible by the Associates and Law Students of CWK, are available on the CWK website.  Click HERE for the full case summaries.

 

  • Issue: Medical Treatment & Expense – Treatment Parameters; Rules Construed: Loupe v. McNeilus Steel, Inc., No. WC18-6175 (September 11, 2018)
  • Issue: Permanent Total Disability – Substantial Evidence, Insubstantial Income; Job Search – Substantial Evidence: Blomme v. Ind. Sch. Dist. No. 413., No. WC18-6169 (September 14, 2018)
  • Issue: Causation – Gillette Injury; Gillette Injury – Date of Injury; Notice of Injury – Substantial Evidence; Practice & Procedure – Statute of Limitations: Noga v. Minn. Vikings Football Club, No. WC18-6133 (September 19, 2018)
  • Issue: Arising Out Of & In The Course Of – Substantial Evidence: Rosar v. Southview Acres Health Care Ctr., No. WC18-6143 (September 21, 2018)
  • Issue: Arising Out Of & In The Course Of: Krull v. Divine House, Inc., No. WC18-6166 (September 27, 2018)
  • Issue: Temporary Total Disability; Causation – Substantial Evidence: Wright v. Viking Coca Cola Bottling Co., WC18-6168 (WCCA October 1, 2018)
  • Issue: Gillette Injury – Substantial Evidence; Notice of Injury – Substantial Evidence: Kronberger v. 3M Cos./Capital Safety, No WC18-6165 (WCCA October 11, 2018)
  • Issue: Evidence – Res Judicata; Practice & Procedure – Dismissal: Zabel v. Gustavus Adolphus College, No. WC18-6185 (WCCA October 12, 2018)
  • Issue: Temporary Total Disability; Job Offer – Refusal: Dodgson v. City of Minneapolis Public Works, No. WC18-6186 (W.C.C.A. October 31, 2018)
  • Issue: Causation – Substantial Evidence: Sanchez-Rivera v. Swift Pork Co., No. WC18-6182 (W.C.C.A. October 31, 2018)

WCCA Case Summaries July & August 2018

WCCA case summaries for July and August 2018, made possible by the Associates of CWK, are available on the CWK website.  Click HERE for the full case summaries.

  • Issue: Evidence – Expert Medical Opinion:  Krumwiede v. GGNSC Slayton, No. WC18-6134 (July 10, 2018)
  • Issue: Evidence – Credibility; Evidence – Expert Medical Opinion:  Jungwirth v. YRC Int’l, Inc., No. WC18-6152 (July 13, 2018)
  • Issue: Evidence – Expert Medical Opinion:  Larson v. ISD 465, No. WC18-6132 (July 18, 2018)
  • Issue: Jurisdiction; Statutues Construed – MINN STAT 175A.01, SUBD. 5; Vacation of Award:  Johnson v. Univ. Good Samaritan, No. WC18-6171 (W.C.C.A. July 23, 2018)
  • Issue: Evidence – Res Judicata:  Johnson v. A Touch of Class Painting, Inc., No. WC18-6170 (W.C.C.A. July 23, 2018)
  • Issue: Vacation of Award on Stipulation Due to Fraud, Mutual Mistake of Fact, or Newly Discovered Evidence:  Johnson v. Skil-Tech, Inc., WC18-6167 (WCCA July 23, 2018)
  • Issue: Substantial Evidence:  Flicek v. Lincoln Electric Co., No WC18-6139 (WCCA July 24, 2018)
  • Issue: Vacation of Award on Stipulation Due to Substantial Change in Condition:  Gelhar v. Universal Hospital Services, No. WC18-6157 (WCCA August 7, 2018)
  • Issue: Rules Construed – MINN R. 1420.3700 (Filing of Stipulation for Settlement):  Plung v. Tag Aviation, No. WC18-6159 (W.C.C.A. August 14, 2018)
  • Issue: Substantial Evidence, Wages – Multiple Employers Evidence – Res Judicata:  Aguirre v. St. Croix Hospice and Walker Methodist Health Center, No. WC18-6136 (W.C.C.A. August 14, 2018)
  • Issue: Temporary Total Disability – Job Search:  Schmidt v. Crow Wing, No. WC18-6145 (W.C.C.A. August 15, 2018)
  • Issue: Arising Out Of & In The Course Of:  Forrest v. Children’s Health Care, No. WC18-6140 (W.C.C.A. Aug. 16, 2018)
  • Issue: Mental Injury – Substantial Evidence:  Daniel Kopischke v. Food Serv. Of Am., No. WC18-6155 (Aug. 20, 2018)
  • Issue: Arising Out Of & In The Course Of: Daniel James v. Duluth Clinic, No. WC18-6128 (W.C.C.A. Aug. 21, 2018):

WCCA Case Summaries June 2018

WCCA case summaries for June 2018, made possible by the Associates of CWK, are available on the CWK website.  Click HERE for the full case summaries.

 

  • Ernesto Herradora-Briones v. Building Resources Corp., No. WC17-6121 (W.C.C.A. July 2, 2018)
  • Jason Ebensteiner v. Klaphake Feed Mill and Westfield Grp., No. WC18-6131 (W.C.C.A. June 29, 2018)
  • Kristine Markham v. Minn. Dep’t of Resources, No. WC18-6130 (W.C.C.A. June 22, 2018)
  • Wayne Gerhardt v. Enzymology Research Ctr., Inc., No. WC18-6127 (W.C.C.A. June 19, 2018)
  • Kurt Caswell v. N. Country Sheet Metal, LLC, No. WC18-6148 (W.C.C.A. June 18, 2018)
  • William Johnson v. Darchuks Fabrication, Inc., No. WC17-6114 (W.C.C.A. June 13, 2018)