YOURENA HAGEN vs. CITY OF SACRAMENTO

; ADJ7744717In this case, the City of Sacramento filed a petition seeking reconsideration of the Finding and Order issued by the workers' compensation administrative law judge (WCJ) on March 14, 2012. The WCJ determined that the City of Sacramento had impermissibly sent information to the panel qualified medical evaluator (PQME) in violation of Labor Code section 4062.3(b) and Administrative Director Rule 35(k). The petition for reconsideration was dismissed as it was a non-final interlocutory procedural or evidentiary decision. The petition for removal was also denied as the City of Sacramento had not established that substantial prejudice or irreparable harm would result if removal was not granted.

CITY OF SACRAMENTO YOURENA HAGEN WORKERS’ COMPENSATION APPEALS BOARDSTATE OF CALIFORNIAYOURENA HAGEN, Applicant,vs.CITY OF SACRAMENTO, Defendant.Case Nos. ADJ7809793; ADJ7744717(Sacramento District Office)OPINION AND ORDER DISMISSING PETITION FORRECONSIDERATION            Defendant, the City of Sacramento, has filed a petition seeking reconsideration of the Finding and Order issued by the workers’ compensation administrative law judge (WCJ) on March 14, 2012. In that decision, the WCJ determined that defendant impermissibly sent information to Miles Weber, M.D., the panel qualified medical evaluator (PQME), in violation of Labor Code section 4062.3(b). The WCJ further determined that this was an ex parte communication in violation of section 4062.3(f) and Administrative Director Rule 35(k). (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, § 35(k).) The WCJ, therefore, ordered the Medical Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation to issue a new QME panel.            In its petition, defendant contends: (1) it complied with section 4063.2 to the greatest extent possible given the circumstances surrounding the scheduling of applicant’s appointment with Dr. Weber; (2) it properly provided its February 21, 2011 cover letter to Dr. Weber; (3) the three witness statements it provided to Dr. Weber occurred after the evaluation and thus were not subject to the time requirements of section 4062.3(b); (4) the only non-medical information sent to Dr. Weber did not result in applicant being prejudiced; (5) there was no ex parte communication between defendant and Dr. Weber in violation of section 4062.3 or Rule 35; and (6) if the Appeals Board finds it is premature to close discovery, further discovery should be limited to supplemental reports and/or deposition testimony from Dr. Weber.            A petition for reconsideration may only be taken from a “final” order, decision, or award. (Lab. , Code, §§ 5900(a), 5902, 5903.) A “final” order has been defined as one “which determines any subs

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