March 20, 2014

Summary of March 19, 2014 conference report for civil cases

The following is our summary of the Supreme Court’s actions on petitions for review in civil cases from the Court’s conference on Wednesday, March 19, 2014.  The summary includes those civil cases in which (1) review has been granted, (2) review has been denied but one or more justices has voted for review, or (3) the Court has ordered depublished an opinion of the Court of Appeal.

Review Granted

South Coast Framing v. Workers Compensation Appeals Board (Clark), S215637—Review Granted—March 19, 2014

This case presents the following question:  Does a claim for workers’ compensation death benefits have a separate and distinct causation standard and burden of proof requiring that an industrial injury constitute a “material factor” contributing to the employee’s death?

An injured employee died as a result of medication he took after suffering a work-related injury.  The decedent’s wife and children filed a worker’s compensation claim for death benefits.  The workers’ compensation judge found in their favor and the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board denied reconsideration.  The employer and its insurance carrier then petitioned the Court of Appeal for a writ of review.

In an unpublished opinion, the Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division One, concluded that the judge’s decision was not supported by substantial evidence and that the decedent’s wife and children had failed to establish a causal connection between his death and the medication he took as a result of the injury. The court annulled the Board’s order denying reconsideration and remanded to the Board with directions to enter a new order denying the claim.

Review Denied (with dissenting justices)




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