News

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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Virginia Court of Appeals Holds Only a Single Structural Change in the Body Must Be Shown

In a published Opinion on May 14, 2019, Alexandria City Public Schools v. Kerri Handel Record No. 1582-18-4, the Court of Appeals held that a sudden mechanical or structural change in the body is only required to be shown in one part of the body to qualify as a compensable injury by accident. Stated differently, so long as one part of the body is shown to have suffered a mechanical or structural change, the Award may reach other parts of the body as well if they are causally related to the accident. The Court in Handel reviewed the familiar three-prong...

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When an “Injury by Accident” is not so Accidental

We all know the definition of a compensable injury is a “sudden and identifiable injury by accident arising out of and in the course of the employment.” Va. Code § 65.2-101 (emphasis added). However, it is easy to forget that our common understanding of the word “accident” can differ from the definition applied by the Commission in Workers’ Compensation matters. One such instance of this occurs when the injury in question is not “accidental,” but caused by an intentional act. It is well-established pursuant to the Act that an employee’s intentional self-inflicted injury is not compensable. Va. Code § 65.2-306(A)(1);...

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Injury by Accident: how much time is too much time?

Historically, the Commission has followed the precedent set in Morris v. Morris, which ruled “[i]n order to carry his burden of proving an ‘injury by accident,’ a claimant must prove that the cause of his injury was an identifiable incident or sudden precipitating event and that it resulted in an obvious sudden mechanical or structural change in the body.” Morris v. Morris, 238 Va. 578, 589, 385 S.E.2d 858, 865 (1989) (emphasis added). We began to see a shift in the Commission’s analysis of injury by accident claims in cases such as Van Buren v. Augusta County, 66 Va. App....

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Open House

Thanks to all who attended our Open House in February. It was a great success!  

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Limiting Exposure to Contested Medical Bills – The Effect of Denial

Dealing with medical providers can prove difficult at times, especially when it comes to agreeing on reasonable prices for the services they render. In a recent decision, Roanoke Ambulatory Surgery Center v. Bimbo Bakeries USA, Inc. , 2019 Va. App. LEXIS 21, the Court of Appeals added an extra layer of difficulty by expanding the time a medical provider has to file an application contesting the sufficiency of payment. Va. Code § 65.2-605.1(F) provides the statute of limitations for medical providers to bring a claim contesting payment for health care services provided to a claimant. Such a claim cannot be heard unless...

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