Verdict - Fall 2015 - (Page 48)
> Workers' comp
Workers' Comp updates
mia frieder and traCee r. Benzo
to their split. the gravamen of the argument is
and began paying ttd income benefits. Barnes
hARDiSON v. ENTERPRiSE hOLDiNGS, iNC.
whether the Board has exclusive jurisdiction
returned to work at Georgia-Pacific in January
331 Ga. App. 705 (March 30, 2015)
over attorney fee disputes for fees generated
1994. After his return to work, his ttd benefits
THE COUrT OF APPEALS reversed the
from workers' compensation cases. the Court
were replaced with permanent partial disability
trial court's grant of summary judgment to the
of Appeals recognized that while the Board also
("PPd") benefits. Barnes' last PPd payment was
employer on an employee's wrongful reten-
has jurisdiction to resolve ancillary issues relat-
issued in may 1998.
tion case arising out of a physical altercation
ing to an employee's compensation rights under
in 2006, Georgia-Pacific sold the plant to
with another employee. the Court held that the
the Act, the instant dispute did not fall within the
roseburg Forest Products Company. roseburg
Workers' Compensation Act is an employee's
Board's exclusive jurisdiction because neither
assumed Georgia-Pacific's assets and liabili-
only remedy for the intentional torts of a co-
party could point to any claimant whose rights
ties. Barnes continued to work modified duty,
worker, unless the tortious act was committed
could be affected by the resolution of the attor-
eventually transferring to light-duty until
for personal reasons unrelated to the conduct of
2008, when Barnes was relocated to a more
the employer's business. A party may abandon
the Court of Appeals also held that although
physically demanding job within the plant. the
these claims in favor of exclusively pursuing his
one of the attorneys failed to file an attorney fee
new position exacerbated Barnes's injuries.
claims sounding in wrongful retention.
lien with the Board, this was not fatal to the claim
on September 10, 2009, roseburg terminated
hardison chose to exclusively pursue
for fees since there were material facts to be
Barnes. Barnes requested recommencement
his claims sounding in wrongful retention.
resolved regarding treating the claims as assets
of his workers' compensation income benefits;
moreover, hardison came forward with suf-
under the partnership agreement sufficient to
he was informed he was not eligible.
ficient evidence that his employer was aware of
defeat summary judgment on the issue. Lastly,
in August 2012, Barnes filed with Georgia-
his co-worker's propensity to engage in verbal
the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court
Pacific a notice of claim to resume ttd benefits.
and physical confrontations to render the grant
regarding modification of an injunction that did
Asserting his 1993 injury date, Barnes claimed
of summary judgment inappropriate.
not maintain the status quo.
he remained catastrophically injured since 1993
(despite the fact that he continued to work with
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS;
limitations), and as a catastrophically injured
SMiTh v. WiLLiAMS
worker, he was entitled to receive benefits
2015 Ga. App. LEXiS 462 (July 14, 2015)
CHANGE IN CONDITION;
beginning on the date he no longer had a job.
THE COUrT OF APPEALS affirmed in part
FICTIONAL NEW ACCIDENT
Georgia-Pacific controverted the claim assert-
and reversed in part the decision of the lower
bARNES v. ROSEbuRG FOREST
ing he was no longer an employee and roseburg
court, holding that the State Board of Workers'
controverted the claim based on the statute of
Compensation ("Board") did not have exclusive
2015 Ga. App. LEXiS 486 (July 16, 2015)
limitations according to o.C.G.A. § 34-9-104(b).
jurisdiction over a dispute involving the dis-
THE COUrT OF APPEALS granted the
in 2012, Barnes filed a separate notice of
solution of a law partnership and the rights of
employee's discretionary appeal involving a
claim with roseburg and CCmSi. Barnes's
attorneys regarding attorneys' fees resulting
catastrophic injury, and reversed the superior
second theory of recovery was based on the
from the settlement of workers' compensation
court, holding that the employee who suffered
position that he sustained a"fictional new acci-
cases because no rights of the claimants would
the catastrophic injury, but returned to work
dent" on September 11, 2009 (citing o.C.G.A.
be affected by the resolution of the attorneys'
and tried to resume payment of temporary total
§34-9-82). the ALJ denied Barnes's claims as
dispute. o.C.G.A. § 34-9-108(a) requires that
disability ("ttd") benefits over two years after
barred by the statute of limitations. the Board
the Board approve attorney fees in excess
his last benefit payment, was not barred by the
affirmed and the Superior Court affirmed.
of $100 and limits attorney fees to 25%, but
statute of limitations period for change in condi-
the Court of Appeals held that the cap
the statute is aimed at protecting the rights of
tion claims. the employee's claim was also not
on weekly ttd benefits does not apply to an
employee-claimants in relation to their attor-
barred by the one year statute of limitations for
employee that sustained a catastrophic injury,
neys, rather than the rights of one attorney in
fictional new accidents.
until he has undergone the requisite change for
relation to another.
in August 1993, employee Barnes was
the better. Given the statute's cap on benefits
the instant case stemmed from the break-up
working for Georgia-Pacific when his foot went
for less severe injuries, and the absence of a cap
of a law firm that handled domestic, personal
through rotten flooring landing in an auger, and
on benefits for catastrophic injuries, it is clear
injury and workers' compensation cases. At
he suffered an immediate amputation of his left
that the legislature intended to treat workers
issue are certain fees from workers' compensa-
leg below the knee. the employer and insurer
who received catastrophic injuries differently
tion cases handled by one of the partners prior
"CCmSi" accepted the claim as catastrophic
from non-catastrophic injuries. Catastrophically
Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Verdict - Fall 2015
What’s New at HQ
Tips for Selecting and Implementing a New Case Management System
How I Obtained Justice for My Client
What You Need to Know About Mass Torts & Multidistrict Litigation
London Calling: Navigating the Waters When Taking a Deposition Overseas
Ethical and Practical Considerations of Co-Counseling
Avoiding Landmines: Identifying, Locating and Serving the Non-U.S. Corporate Defendant
Powerful Weapons: Public-Private Alliances Between State Attorneys General and Private Lawyers
Multidistrict Litigation: Friend or Foe?
Civil Lawyers Against World Sex Slavery
Getting Out-of-State Evidence: Domesticating a Subpoena
New Lawyers’ Corner: Five Tips for Hanging your Shingle
Case Updates: What’s New?
Workers’ Comp Updates
Welcome New GTLA Members!
Index to Advertisers
Verdict - Fall 2015