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3600(a)(10) defense (California)

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 1:48 pm
by jonbrissman
I represented a medical provider in the following scenario:

An employee climbed a 12-foot ladder to clean the ceiling in a warehouse. Somehow he dislodged a fire-sprinkler head, causing a deluge of water to spew out. The cascade knocked him from the ladder to the floor, resulting in substantial injuries. His supervisor ran over to where the employee was sprawled on the floor and said, "You're an idiot. You're fired." The employee said, "Help me, I'm hurt." The supervisor replied, "Too late! It's post-termination." The injured worker subsequently self-procured treatment; the insurance carrier refused to pay any portion of the resulting lien based on the post-termination defense.

The WCJ awarded the lien. He wrote in his opinion that he did not believe that, when an injury-causing accident occurs, the Legislature intended to make it a race between the employer and the employee to see who speaks first.