Aspen Claims Service

Plain Language, Practice, Or Policy?

 Monday, September 27, 2021

 CLM Magazine

Do not make bad case law. We hear this from our mentors, our supervisors, at our continuing education seminars.

We appeal bad rulings knowing that, in Georgia and some other jurisdictions, appeals are discretionary for workers’ compensation claims. Yet, over the past few years, we have seen a handful of our old "tried and true" defenses deteriorate.

The Cartersville City Schools v. Johnson claim gutted our idiopathic injury defense. Shortly thereafter, the Frett v. State Farm ruling changed our lunch break exception, and some of our ingress/egress guidelines.

Minnesota, Illinois, and California all have specific rules, whether by emergency order or emergency legislation, that carve out a niche for the compensability of very specific COVID-19 work injury claims. Georgia, and a handful of others, do not.

Well into a global pandemic, defense attorneys and claims professionals read the plain language of O.C.G.A. Â 34-9-280 regarding occupational diseases. The statute is clear, and we have banked on it for over 18 months. So far, we have no appellate level case law for workers’ compensation COVID-19 claims.
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