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Cedrick Hordges vs. Denver Nuggets; Pinnacol Assurance; Et Al.

Denver Nuggets; Pinnacol Assurance; et al. Cedrick Hordges WORKERS’ COMPENSATION APPEALS BOARDSTATE OF CALIFORNIACEDRICK HORDGES, Applicant,vs.DENVER NUGGETS; PINNACOLASSURANCE; et al., Defendants.Case No. ADJ7231165 (Santa Ana District Office)OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING PETITION FOR REMOVAL AND DECISION AFTER REMOVAL            Pinnacol Assurance (Pinnacol) petitioned for removal of each of the following seven cases to the Appeals Board: Cedrick Hordges-ADJ7231165; Charles Scott-ADJ7917475; Willie Wise-ADJ7460797; Hollis Copeland, Jr.-ADJ7730913; Ralph Simpson-ADJ7791083; Jacky Dorsey-ADJ7348295; and Walter Brown-ADJ8372797.BACKGROUND            In the course of addressing the motion of defendant Denver Nuggets (Denver or Nuggets) to consolidate the seven cases, the workers’ compensation administrative law judge (WCJ) determined on January 9, 2013, that he would conduct a January 31, 2013 hearing on whether the issue of Pinnacol’s workers’ compensation “insurance coverage” of Denver as he viewed it should be referred to arbitration pursuant to Labor Code section 5275.1 Pinnacol challenged that January 9, 2013 decision of the WCJ by petitioning for removal of each of the seven cases to the Appeals Board, contending that Colorado law bars it from defending or covering workers’ compensation claims filed in California.             While the petitions were pending, the WCJ proceeded with the hearing on January 31, 2013. Following that hearing the WCJ issued a March 22, 2013 order directing that three of the seven cases, Cedrick Hordges-ADJ7231165, Charles Scott-ADJ7917475, and Willie Wise-ADJ7460797, proceed to 1 Further statutory references are to the Labor Code. Section 5275 provides that a dispute involving the issue of insurance coverage “shall be submitted for arbitration.” , arbitration pursuant to section 5275. Pinnacol challenged the March 22, 2013 order in each of those three cases by filing a second petition seeking removal of the cases to the Appeals Board.   

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