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Maria Aguirre vs. Lompoc Valley Medical Center Permissibly Self-insured Administered By Workers’ Compensation Administrators

LOMPOC VALLEY MEDICAL CENTER permissibly self-insured administered by WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ADMINISTRATORS MARIA AGUIRRE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION APPEALS BOARDSTATE OF CALIFORNIAMARIA AGUIRRE, Applicant,vs.LOMPOC VALLEY MEDICAL CENTER;permissibly self-insured, administered byWORKERS’ COMPENSATIONADMINISTRATORS, Defendants.Case No. ADJ8810795(Goleta District Office)ORDER DENYINGPETITION FORRECONSIDERATION            We have considered the allegations of the Petition for Reconsideration and the contents of the report of the workers’ compensation administrative law judge (WCJ) with respect thereto. Based on our review of the record, and for the reasons stated in said report which we adopt and incorporate, we will deny reconsideration.            Furthermore, the language of Labor Code section 4651.3 indicates that it is the filing of a petition to terminate and its ‘whole denial’ by the Appeals Board that triggers liability for attorney’s fees, independent of defendant’s intent to withdraw the petition or actual withdrawal of the petition once the medical evidence indicates the petition is without basis. By then, as in this case, the applicant likely has reasonably incurred attorney’s fees in resisting the petition. Here, defendant’s attempt to withdraw its petition to terminate liability for temporary disability, long after Dr. Patel confirmed in his deposition that applicant remained temporarily disabled, violated not only the letter but also the spirit of the law. We deny reconsideration and affirm the WCJ’s award of attorney’s fees pursuant to section 4651.3./ / // / // / // / / ,             For the foregoing reasons,            IT IS ORDERED that said Petition for Reconsideration be, and it hereby is, DENIED.WORKERS’ COMPENSATION APPEALS BOARD    _____________________________________________RONNIE G. CAPLANE        I CONCUR,        _____________________________________________MARGUERITE SWEENEY        _____________________________________________KATHERINE ZALEWS


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