Court Case Update - Countrywide 2019 Year-End Update
By NCCI Insights December 18, 2019

This Court Case Update—2019 Year-End Summary, provides a look at some of the cases and decisions monitored by NCCI’s Legal Team in 2019 which may impact and shape the future of workers compensation across states.

Exclusive Remedy

Challenges to the constitutionality and scope of exclusive remedy—providing employer immunity from injured employee tort suits—continued as a hot topic in 2019 among workers compensation stakeholders and in the courts.


Challenges to Third-Party Guides (AMA/ODG)

Since the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s 2017 decision striking statutory use of the “most recent edition” of the American Medical Association (AMA) Guides in Protz v. Workers Compensation Appeals Board, challenges to the AMA Guides and other third-party guides used to aid in the administration of the workers compensation system have continued to garner stakeholder interest


Marijuana Developments

Marijuana legalization has been a hot topic at the state and federal levels for some time, and this year was no exception. Courts have been actively reviewing marijuana-related issues in workers compensation and the workplace, with varying outcomes across states.

Cases About Marijuana in Workers Compensation:

Cases About Marijuana and the Workplace:

Air Ambulance Reimbursement

Courts continue to review cases addressing whether state workers compensation laws establishing air ambulance reimbursement rates are preempted by the federal Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 (ADA). To date, state and federal courts have largely found that the federal ADA preempts state workers compensation laws and fee schedules.


Additional State and Federal Developments

State and federal courts across the country have been considering cases that test the constitutionality of workers compensation provisions or raise issues that could impact the workers compensation system.


For more information on the cases monitored by NCCI’s Legal Team in 2019, visit previous Court Case Update editions and for continuous updates use NCCI’s Court Case Insights online resource in the Legal section of INSIGHTS on

​This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for informational purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. Use of this article for any purpose other than as set forth herein is strictly prohibited.