a-z indexroundtableArticles & Editorialsmarketplacemeet the publisherscontactsearch
home
  A-Z Index
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

EXPEDITED HEARING (EH)

Labor Code §5502 provides, in relevant part, "(b)...a priority calendar for issues requiring an expedited hearing and decision. A hearing shall be held and a determination as to the rights of the parties shall be made and filed within 30 days after the declaration of readiness to proceed is filed if the issues in dispute are any of the following, provided that when an expedited hearing is requested pursuant to paragraph (2), no other issue may be heard until the medical provider network dispute is resolved:
 (A) The employee’s entitlement to medical treatment pursuant to Section 4600, except for treatment issues determined pursuant to Sections 4610 and 4610.5.
(B) Whether the injured employee is required to obtain treatment within a medical provider network.
(C) A medical treatment appointment or medical-legal examination.
(D) The employee’s entitlement to, or the amount of, temporary disability indemnity payments.
(4) The employee’s entitlement to compensation from one or more responsible employers when two or more employers dispute liability as among themselves.
(5) Any other issues requiring an expedited hearing and determination as prescribed in rules and regulations of the administrative director.

8 CCR §10552 further defines the issues and procedures:

(a) Where injury to any part or parts of the body is accepted as compensable by the employer, a party is entitled to an expedited hearing and decision upon the filing of an application for adjudication of claim and a declaration of readiness to proceed pursuant to section 10414 establishing a bona fide, good faith dispute as to:
(1) the employee's entitlement to medical treatment pursuant to Labor Code section 4600;
(2) whether the employee is required to obtain treatment within a medical provider network;
(3) a medical treatment appointment or medical-legal examination;
(4) the employee's entitlement to, or the amount of, temporary disability indemnity payments;
(5) the employee's entitlement to compensation from one or more responsible employers when two or more employers dispute liability as among themselves; or
(6) any other issue as prescribed in the rules and regulations of the Administrative Director.
(b) An expedited hearing may be set upon request where injury to any part or parts of the body is accepted as compensable by the employer and the issues include medical treatment or temporary disability for a disputed body part or parts.
(c) A workers' compensation judge assigned to a case involving a disputed body part or parts may redesignate the expedited hearing as a mandatory settlement conference, receive a pretrial conference statement pursuant to Labor Code section 5502, close discovery, and schedule the case for trial on the issues presented, if the workers' compensation judge determines, in consultation with the presiding workers' compensation judge, that the case is not appropriate for expedited determination.
(d) Grounds for the redesignation of an expedited hearing includes, but is not limited to, cases where the direct and cross-examination of the applicant will be prolonged, or where there are multiple witnesses who will offer extensive testimony.
(e) The parties are expected to submit for decision all matters properly in issue at a single trial and to produce all necessary evidence, including witnesses, documents, medical reports, payroll statements and all other matters considered essential in the proof of a party's claim or defense.

After filing an Application for Adjudication of Claim, the injured worker or defendant can file a Declaration of Readiness to Proceed to Expedited Hearing (Trial) on the enumerated issues or disputed body parts (assuming claim was accepted). As with the regular Declaration of Readiness to Proceed the "Declarant states under penalty of perjury that he or she has made the following specific, genuine, good faith efforts to resolve the dispute(s)"...

The Board's Policy and Procedural Manual notes in regard to disputed body parts:

"a WCJ assigned to a case involving a disputed body part or parts may re-designate the hearing as a mandatory settlement conference, receive a pretrial conference statement pursuant to Labor Code Section 5502(e)(3), close discovery, and schedule the case for trial on the issues presented, if the WCJ determines, in consultation with the PWCJ, that the case is not appropriate for expedited determination. Such re-designation may be appropriate in this type of case where, for example, the direct and cross-examination of the applicant will be prolonged, or where there are multiple witnesses who will offer extensive testimony."

Penalty issues cannot be heard at this type of proceeding, even if they relate to the issue being heard.

Label Item Links Comments
Labor Code For admitted claims enumerated above  LC §5502  
 

 
 
Regulations/Rules §10252. Expedited Hearing Calendar

Policy and Procedural Manual
8 CCR  §10252

Policy and Procedural Manual
 
Cases In the third en banc decision Jose Dubon v. World Restoration, Inc.; and State Compensation Insurance Fund (2014), the Board held that “A utilization review (UR) decision is invalid and not subject to independent medical review (IMR) only if it is untimely.
2. Legal issues regarding the timeliness of a UR decision must be resolved by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB), not IMR."
Dubon v. World Restoration Note the need to appeal to IMR timely in the event the WCAB finds the UR denial valid.
Forms Declaration of Readiness to Proceed to Expedited Hearing (Trial) DR for EH  
Websites    
Practice Tips How "expedited" such proceedings are depends on the local WCAB office, it appears. It may actually be faster to proceed to a regular trial by way of a Mandatory Settlement Conference.

Prepare for the priority conference as though it were a Mandatory Settlement Conference. Have a Pre-Trial Conference Statement Form completed as much as possible, and have your Settlement Analyzer and Issues & Evidence spreadsheet up to date. 
   
Magazine Articles
 
Roundtable    
Miscellaneous      

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z