New procedure for filing Forms 105 and 113 with the Massachusetts DIA
Wednesday, June 10, 2020 ♦ Important update regarding new procedure effective 7/1/2020
IMPORTANT: Effective July 1, 2020, new protocol will be in place from the Massachusetts DIA with respect to the submission of Forms 105 and 113.
Effective July 1, 2020, Forms 105 and Forms 113 will no longer be accepted by the DIA via US Mail.
All Forms 105 and Forms 113 must be emailed to:
- Forms 105: DIA-Form105conciliation@mass.gov
- Forms 113: DIA-Form113conciliation@mass.gov
Please be sure to include the DIA board number in the upper right corner on both Forms 105 and Forms 113.
NOTE: any Forms 105 or Forms 113 not correctly submitted to the DIA via email will not be reviewed or considered for approval.
Substantial monetary recoveries available for insurers from Second Injury Fund for COVID-19 claims in Massachusetts
Wednesday, May 14, 2020 ♦ Potential recoveries for insurers handling COVID-19 claims
- Workers that die or suffer long-term disabilities from work-related COVID-19 may be a source of a Second Injury Fund claim that could reimburse the insurer up to 75% of costs associated with COVID-19 claims.
- COVID-19 is more lethal for people 50 years of age and older. Workers in this age group are more likely to have pre-existing conditions that may be used as the basis of a Second Injury Fund recovery.
- According to the Center for Disease Control, those who are immunocompromised or suffer from asthma, liver disease, kidney disease, lung disease, diabetes, hemoglobin disorders, heart conditions, or obesity have a higher risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19. Workers with these conditions may qualify for a Second Injury Fund recovery if they develop work-related COVID-19.
- Workers with other types of pre-existing medical conditions may also be a source of Second Injury Fund recoveries. Each claim should be examined on a case-by-case basis.
- Insurers should obtain and preserve information related to workers’ pre-existing conditions for employees working in professions that expose them to COVID-19. The information may be obtained from personnel records, FMLA applications, co-workers with personal knowledge, observation of workers taking medication, or accommodations made by an employer for an employee.
- Second Injury Fund recoveries are not available for employees that are only disabled for a short period of time.
Contact Ty DeMato at Mullen and McGourty, P.C. at (617) 338-9200, extension 235, or by email at email@example.com if you have any questions regarding Second Injury Fund recoveries related to COVID-19 or any other condition.
COVID-19 compensability statutes for Northeast States
Monday, March 23, 2020 ♦ Relevant statutes for handling COVID-19 claims in Northeast States
COVID-19 will be compensable under limited circumstances in Northeast States. Generally medical and lab employees will be presumed to have contacted the virus at work. Most other professions must prove exposure at work, and even when exposure at work can be demonstrated, legal defenses are available to maintain a denial. Contact us, we can help.
Mullen & McGourty ranked number one firm by major third-party administrator's Legal Score
Tuesday, October 15, 2019 ♦ Firm excels in all categories of TPA's Legal Score program
A major third-party administrator recently ranked Mullen & McGourty as the number one firm in all states wherein the firm represents the TPA, a big player in the insurance industry.
The ranking is generated by the Legal Score program, which evaluates all law firms who provide services for this third-party administrator throughout the country. The program’s lengthy research and analysis indicated that Mullen & McGourty had fantastic results across all categories, including:
- Review and case analysis
- Quick resolution of cases
- Excellent case strategy
- Litigation results
- Reasonable billing practices
- Excellent communication with claims
We would be happy to put these skills to the test for you, for all of your insurance defense needs. Feel free to contact us at (617) 338-9200 to discuss your legal issue, whether it pertains to a workers' compensation claim, a general liability lawsuit, a subrogation matter or Second Injury Fund recovery.
New Commissioner's Medical Examination procedure per Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission
Tuesday, October 8, 2019 ♦ New CME regulations to follow along with increased CME fee
New procedure was recently enacted by the State of Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) for Commissioner’s Medical Examinations (CME), as the protocol went into place effective September 15, 2019 per WCC Memorandum No. 2019-09.
After a WCC Commissioner orders a CME and sets the due date for submission of the full medical records packet, the appropriate district office will send out notice to all parties of a scheduled Pro Forma Formal Hearing. No attendance is required at the Pro Forma Formal, as the “hearing” is simply a formal notice of the date in which the medical records packet is due to the district office.
However, should the medical records exhibit not be provided by 4:00 p.m. on the date of the Pro Forma Formal, the WCC will proceed to schedule an Emergency Informal Hearing to address potential sanctions and penalties. The parties may request an extension of the due date as long as the request is made at least two days prior, but CMEs will not be scheduled until the district office is in receipt of the medicals.
Medical records packets are still to be submitted in chronological order by date of service with an index reflective of same; however, of note, the Commission states that physical therapy notes are to be isolated from the main packet. The Commissioner will determine whether the separate physical therapy notes are to be provided to the Commissioner’s Examiner.
Written consent from opposing counsel with respect to the contents of the packet must be provided to the WCC.
Finally, another noteworthy change: per WCC Memorandum No. 2019-08, the fee schedule for Commissioner’s Examiners has increased from $750.00 to a $900.00 fee for CMEs.
Rhode Island Workers' Compensation Court: Special Mediation Program
Thursday, September 19, 2019 ♦ Important Settlement Opportunity
The Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Court has granted insurers a limited opportunity to participate in a mediation program designed to resolve Rhode Island workers' compensation cases that are often frustrating and difficult to close.
In order to participate, the parties must file a Petition (for Submission to the Special Mediation Program) between October 1 and November 8, 2019. Thereafter, the matters will be scheduled for a hearing before the Chief Judge for assignment of the Mediator. All Mediation documents must be submitted to the assigned Mediator of the Workers' Compensation Court by November 22, 2019. Generally, the mediation documents to be submitted to the Court should consist of a summary of the case and 10 pages of relevant materials.
The program is timed so that mediation will occur between December 2 and December 6 (just in time for the Holiday).
Mediation will be conducted at the Workers' Compensation Court in Rhode Island. Consequently, the Rhode Island Workers' Compensation Court mediators, including Workers' Compensation Judges, may conduct mediation.
This is an excellent opportunity to resolve your frustrating legacy claims, or new claims that are likely to lead to nuisance petitions by claimant attorneys.
If you would like to have one of your Rhode Island workers' compensation cases assessed for participation in the mediation program, please contact the following:
Denise Lombardo Myers (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Wayne A. Gallo (email@example.com)
Boston DIA Office Relocating
Thursday, June 27, 2019 ♦ New address will be effective as of July 29, 2019
Please be advised that the Boston Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) is relocating to a new address on Monday, July 29, 2019!!
The new address for the Boston DIA Office effective July 29, 2019 is as follows:
Department of Industrial Accidents
Lafayette City Center
2 Avenue de Lafayette
Boston, MA 02111
** Please note that all mail correspondence postmarked on or after Tuesday, July 23, 2019 should be directed to the new mailing address.**
As a result of the relocation of the Boston DIA Office, all Dispute Resolutions will be suspended during the period of Monday, July 15, 2019 through Friday, August 2, 2019. Any proceedings scheduled within this time frame will be rescheduled to a date subsequent to the relocation and all parties will be notified of same.
Proceedings in other DIA regional offices (Fall River, Lawrence, Springfield and Worcester) will not be effected until Thursday, July 25.
Parties wishing to reschedule Impartial Examinations scheduled between Thursday, July 25 and Tuesday, July 30 must submit a written request to the DIA by 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 25.
**DIA information and phone systems will be suspended for upgrades across ALL DIA OFFICES as of Thursday, July 25 at 5:00 p.m. DIA staff will have limited access to email during this period, until the systems return back online on Monday, July 29 at 8:00 a.m.**
Mass. Workers' Compensation Insurers
not required to pay for medical marijuana
Saturday, February 16, 2019 ♦ DIA cannot order payment for medical marijuana
Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents judges may not order an Insurer to pay for an injured worker's medical marijuana according to the Massachusetts Reviewing Board’s decision issued February 14, 2019. Wright v. Pioneer Valley Board No. 0438715 (2019)
Possible criminal liability for paying for marijuana
- Neither Massachusetts marijuana laws, nor a Department of Industrial Accidents order provide a safe harbor from federal prosecution.
- An Insurer that pays for medical marijuana may face federal conviction for violating the federal (CSA) Controlled Substances Act. 21 U.S.C. §§ 841 (a)(1).
- An Insurer may be a criminal accomplice to a CSA violation if the Insurer reimburses an injured worker for the costs or expenses associated with purchase of medical marijuana. 18 U.S.C. §2(a)(2011).
- Negotiating a price, arranging for delivery, or other activities in furtherance of the sale of medical marijuana may be sufficient to establish federal criminal liability for distribution of a controlled substance.
This Reviewing Board decision sets precedence at the DIA, but it is subject to appeal and review by the Massachusetts Appeals Court