News

Res judicata: Knowing the Limits of Lifetime Medical Award

Lifetime medical award. These three words are a constant source of frustration for anyone who handles claims under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act. Once an award is entered in a claim, your claim has the possibility of remaining open and active for months, years, or even decades after their original injury. One particularly frustrating aspect of these eternal claims is the injured workers’ ability to revive a claim by seeking treatment for additional body parts or conditions long after benefits have been awarded. In the recent case of O’Neil v. County of Henrico, JCN VA00001314915 (Oct. 21, 2019), the Commission...

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Welcome Courtney Anderson to the Ford Richardson Team!

Courtney is an Associate in our Richmond, Virginia office where she will be working in the Workers’ Compensation Practice Group. In addition, Courtney has significant experience in the area of family law and will continue serving those clients as well. She is a graduate of the University of Richmond School of Law and the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

In this season of Thanksgiving the team at Ford Richardson wishes to thank you for the opportunity to provide your legal services.

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“For Whom the Statute Tolls” The effect of the 2019 amendment and reenactment of Virginia Code Section 65.2-602

As of July 1, 2019, the legislature passed an amendment that puts an abrasive twist on defendants’ chances of prevailing on a two-year statute of limitations defense when voluntary payments have been made. Prior to July 1, 2019, Virginia Code Section 65.2-602, better known as the “Tolling Statute,” provided in pertinent part that: In any case where an employer has received notice of an accident resulting in compensable injury to an employee as required by §65.2-600, and whether or not an award has been entered, such employer nevertheless has paid compensation or wages to such employee during incapacity for work...

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Will Challenges — A Look at Some Recent Cases Examined by the Supreme Court of Virginia

I have begun to notice more calls to our law firm with questions about the validity of wills.  I predict we will continue to see more litigation surrounding wills as the baby boomers continue to age.  In fact, since 2018 we have had four cases reach the Supreme Court of Virginia — Feeney v. Feeney, Record Nos. 170031 and 170032 (April 12, 2018); Canody v. Hamblin, Record No. 170747 (July 19, 2018); D’Ambrosia v. Wof, Record No. 170521 (February 22, 2018); and Parson v. Miller, Record No. 171393 (December 20, 2018).  These four cases nicely lay out some guiding legal...

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Downtown law firm expands to Hampton Roads

September 11, 2019 Mark Kilduff, Audrey Marcello and Matthew Moynihan (Photos courtesy Ford Richardson) A year-old Richmond-based law firm is on the move. Ford Richardson, which was launched in May 2018 by former McCandlish Holton attorneys Scott Ford and Brian Richardson, last month expanded with an office in Hampton Roads. Manning the new office is Audrey Marcello, Mark Kilduff and Matthew Moynihan, all of whom had been with the law firm TaylorWalker in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. The Hampton Roads office is a fourth outpost for Ford Richardson, which came out of the gate last year with locations in Richmond,...

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Thinking of Not Getting Workers’ Compensation Insurance With 3 or More Employees? Don’t Do It!

Are you a business owner with 3 or more employees and thinking you will save the cost and not secure workers’ compensation insurance? Don’t do it! It’s not worth the risk. In a recent legal decision by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation—Lagos v. Nathaniel Rorls/Good Deal Tree Service & Firewood (JCN VA02000029120) entered on September 9, 2019 a civil penalty of $50,000 (the maximum permitted by statute) was assessed against an employer for failure to have workers’ compensation insurance. The Deputy Commissioner held that the employer’s “assertion that his business only had subcontractors to be a fiction.” Further, the Commission rejected...

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State of Oklahoma v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al.—Is this a Tipping Point for a Wave of Larger Verdicts Against Opioid Prescribers, Manufacturers, Distributors and Retailers?

On August 26, 2019 a judge in Oklahoma, after a 33 day bench trial, ruled that Johnson & Johnson intentionally played down the dangers and oversold the benefits of opioids, and ordered it to pay the state $572 million in the first trial of a drugmaker. It is the first time a trial court has held a drugmaker accountable for the nation’s opioid crisis, which has contributed to over 700,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States since 1999. His finding that Johnson & Johnson had breached the state’s “public nuisance” law was a significant aspect of his ruling. The...

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Should a Carrier be Required to Pay for “Companionship” for a Claimant? Testing the Limits of 24/7 Nursing Care

In Virginia, nursing services, whether rendered in a hospital or at home, are included among the medical benefits that an employer and carrier must furnish for injured workers, provided those services constitute “medical attention” and are “necessary.” What may come as a surprise is that the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act does not actually define what “medical attention” and “necessary” mean in this context. For close to 40 years, the Commission has used a 4-prong test laid out in Warren Trucking Co. v. Chandler, 221 Va. 1108 (1981) to clarify the meaning of those terms. In that case, the Virginia Supreme...

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Supreme Court “Polices the Boundaries” of the Two-Causes Rule

The two-causes rule was established by the Supreme Court of Virginia in Bergmann v. L & W Drywall, 222 Va. 30 (1981). The Court in Bergmann determined that when there are two causes of a claimant’s disability, one related to a work accident and one unrelated, benefits are awarded when the cause related to the work accident contributes to the disability. Recently, the application of the two-causes rule was put to the test in front of the Supreme Court of Virginia in the case of Carrington v. Aquatic Co., No. 180243, 2019 Va. LEXIS 80 (July 18, 2019). In this...

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