News

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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Ford Richardson Opens Hampton Roads, VA Office

Ford Richardson Opens Hampton Roads, VA Office 500 E. Main St. 16th Floor Norfolk, VA 23606 Please Welcome the Ford Richardson VA Legal Team Mark B. Killduff, Partner Audrey Marcello, Partner Matthew Moynihan, Associate Attorney

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Annual Workers’ Compensation Seminar

September 18, 2019 7:30am – 4pm Please join us for the Ford Richardson Annual Workers’ Compensation Seminar at the Westin Hotel, Richmond, VA. Please call 804-220-6117 for additional information or to find out how to register for this informative and educational seminar. CEU credits have been applied for and are free to adjusters, nurse case managers and risk managers: CCM, CMS,CRC, FL Adjuster, GA Adjuster, National Nurse, NC Adjuster and VA Agent. We look forward to seeing you there.

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Rigid Temporal Precision: The Evolution of Defining an “Injury by Accident” in Virginia Workers’ Compensation Law

In 2016, the Court of Appeals issued an Opinion in Van Buren v. Augusta County, 66 Va. App. 441 (2016), holding that a claimant proved a “sudden and identifiable” injury by accident despite the claimant being unable to identify when his injury occurred within a 30 to 45-minute period of varying exertions. The Court held that, under certain circumstances, that 30 to 45-minute time period could be considered sufficient to show that the injury occurred “at some reasonably definite time.” Subsequently, there have been several decisions that demonstrate the Court of Appeals’ efforts to evolve and define the sort of...

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Keep on Fighting The Good Fight: Compound Creams

For years, workers’ compensation adjusters, nurse case managers, and other workers’ compensation professionals sounded the alarm about physicians using opioids as a cure-all for alleged chronic pain. Significant progress has been made with this issue. Large pharmaceutical companies like Purdue Pharma are currently being sued by at least 44 states related their role in fueling and sustaining the opioid crisis. Now, it is almost universally accepted within the workers’ compensation community that prescribing opioids for chronic pain is only recommended after careful consideration of the risks and benefits associated with long-term opioid use for each patient. Unfortunately, we are seeing...

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