Court Case Update - Countrywide 2020 Year-End Update
By NCCI Insights January 28, 2021

This Court Case Update—2020 Year-End Summary provides a look at some of the cases and decisions monitored by NCCI’s Legal Team in 2020, which may impact and shape the future of workers compensation (WC) across the states.


State and federal courts have begun to consider and decide COVID-19-related cases that could impact WC. For more information, visit NCCI’s COVID-19 Court Cases on the COVID-19 Resource Center at

Exclusive Remedy

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 use of the AMA Guides and other third-party guides have continued to surface in courts across the states.


Marijuana Developments

Courts continue to actively review marijuana-related issues in WC and the workplace, with varying outcomes across the states.

Cases About Marijuana in Workers Compensation:

Cases About Marijuana and the Workplace:

Air Ambulance Reimbursement

To date, state and federal courts have largely found that the federal Airline Deregulation Act (ADA) preempts state WC laws and fee schedules. However, this year the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the ADA does not preempt a state’s “fair and reasonable” WC reimbursement standard.


Additional State and Federal Developments

State and federal courts across the country have been considering cases that could impact the workers compensation system.

Federal Cases:

State Cases (By Geographic Zone)




For more information on the cases monitored by NCCI’s Legal Division in 2020, visit previous Court Case Update editions and Court Case Insights featured 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.