Since first published in 2018, NCCI’s Court Case Update has provided stakeholders with important and timely information on relevant workers compensation (WC) decisions that have impacted and shaped the system, reporting on over 200 cases. In 2022, NCCI’s Legal Division continued to report on the outcome of several cases that address different topics such as exclusive remedy, marijuana, air ambulance reimbursement, and COVID-19.
This report provides a high-level overview of the 46 cases reported on in 2022, grouped by topics.
Court challenges to the constitutionality and scope of exclusive remedy—providing employer immunity from injured employee tort suits—continues to be a closely watched topic among WC stakeholders. In 2022, we reported on decisions addressing the applicability of and exceptions to exclusive remedy.
2022 Exclusive Remedy Decisions:
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, NCCI began monitoring COVID-19-related cases with potential implications for WC insurance. Many of the cases to date have dealt with determinations of whether contraction of COVID-19 is work-related and therefore compensable, or the application of exclusive remedy where employees contract COVID-19 and sue their employers in tort. In 2022, we also saw courts consider the issue of whether an employer is liable in tort for injuries sustained by the spouse of an employee who allegedly contracted COVID-19 at work and spread it to the spouse at home.
2022 COVID-19 Decisions:
Marijuana legalization has been a hot topic at the state and federal levels for some time and in 2022 courts actively reviewed marijuana-related issues in WC and the workplace, with varying outcomes across the states.
Marijuana in WC 2022 Decisions:
Marijuana and the Workplace 2022 Decisions:
Air Ambulance Reimbursement
Courts have continued to review cases addressing whether state WC laws limiting air ambulance billing rates are preempted by the federal Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 (ADA). In 2022, we reported on cases in two states, Texas and Kansas, addressing issues related to this topic.
2022 Air Ambulance Decisions:
Additional State and Federal Developments
Across the states and at the federal level, courts have continued to consider cases that could impact the WC system and its stakeholders. These cases address issues such as compensability, constitutional challenges to WC laws, benefits, and attorney fees, to mention a few.
Northeastern Zone Cases
Southeastern Zone Cases
- Alabama—Statutory Period for Challenging a Benefit-Review Agreement, Ex Parte American Cast Iron Pipe Co. (Supreme Court of Alabama)
- Arkansas—Statute of Limitations for Benefits, Wynne v. Liberty Trailer (Arkansas Supreme Court)
- Florida—Entitlement to PTSD Benefits, Wyatt v. Polk County Board of County Commissioners (First District Court of Appeal of Florida)
- Florida—Injuries Suffered While Traveling From Work, Kelly Air Systems, LLC v. Kohlun (First District Court of Appeal of Florida)
- Florida—Jurisdiction Over Prohibited Debt Collection Practices, Laboratory Corporation of America v. Davis (Florida Supreme Court)
- Florida—Prospective Application of Firefighter Benefits Statute, Weaver v. Volusia County (Fifth District Court of Appeal of Florida)
- Florida—Statutory Immunity, Bal Harbour Tower Condominium Association, Inc. v. Bellorin (Third District Court of Appeal of Florida)
- Kentucky—Reopening a WC Claim, Lakshmi Narayan Hospitality Group Louisville v. Jimenez (Supreme Court of Kentucky)
- Louisiana—Compensability of Fall Injuries, Woodard v. Brookshire Grocery Co. (Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Second Circuit)
- Louisiana—Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing in WC, Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson, LLC v. Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Corp. (Supreme Court of Louisiana)
- Mississippi—Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies, Thornhill v. Walker-Hill Environmental (Supreme Court of Mississippi)
Midwestern Zone Cases
Western Zone Cases
- Alaska—Attorney Fees, Rusch v. Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (Supreme Court of Alaska)
- Arizona—Constitutionality of Statutory Limitation on Claims for Mental Injuries, Matthews v. The Industrial Commission of Arizona (Supreme Court of Arizona)
- Idaho—Constitutional Challenge to Firefighter Presumption, Nelson v. City of Pocatello (Supreme Court of Idaho)
- Nevada—WC Lien, Harper v. Copperpoint Mutual Insurance Holding Co. (Supreme Court of Nevada)
- New Mexico—Constitutional Challenge to Limitation on Benefits, Cardenas v. Aztec Municipal Schools (Court of Appeals of New Mexico)
- Oregon—Impairment Caused by Compensable and Noncompensable Injuries, Johnson v. SAIF Corp. and Robinette v. SAIF Corp. (Oregon Supreme Court)
- Oregon—WC Coverage for Drivers Leasing From For-Hire Carriers, SAIF Corp. v. Ward (Oregon Supreme Court)
- Texas—WC Insurer’s Entitlement to Settlement Proceeds, Stevenson v. Texas Mutual Insurance Co. (Court of Appeals of Texas, Dallas)
- Wyoming—Entitlement to Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits, McBride v. State of Wyoming (Supreme Court of Wyoming)
For more information on the cases monitored by NCCI’s Legal Division, visit previous
Court Case Update editions, featured in the
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