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Dykhoff v. Xcel Energy

January 27, 2014  |   By William R. Moody, Caselaw Updates  

Dykhoff v. Xcel Energy, Minn. Sup. Ct, Case Number A12-2324 In Dykhoff, the Minnesota Supreme Court declared that “increased risk test” determines whether an injury arises out of employment. This case brings needed clarity to the confusing case law surrounding the issue by rejecting the less demanding “positional risk test” and the balancing test used in Bohlin v. St. Louis Cnty. Nopeming Nursing...

Bitterman v. Safe Way Bus Co., Inc.

October 31, 2013  |   By William R. Moody, Caselaw Updates  

Bitterman v. Safe Way Bus Co., Inc., No. WC13-5581 (W.C.C.A. Oct 31, 2013) This interesting case demonstrates the lengths employers and insurers must go to establish a successful intoxication defense. The facts are quite colorful. The employee was occupied doing maintenance work when he allegedly fell from a short ladder hitting his head and back. Without a telephone to call for help and in a daze,...

Bell v. State, Dep’t of Transp. (self-insured)

October 30, 2013  |   By Patricia M. Koth, Caselaw Updates  

Bell v. State, Dep’t of Transp. (self-insured), No. WC13-5579 (W.C.C.A. Oct. 30, 2013) The W.C.C.A affirmed a compensation judge’s decision to deny additional penalties under Minn. Stat. § 176.225 for failure to pay permanent partial disability benefits where the employer/insurer had good faith defenses. In March 2010, the employee sustained traumatic injuries to multiple body parts while working...

Donald D. David v. Bartel Enterprises (Nitro Green) and SFM Mut. Ins. Co.

October 23, 2013  |   By Patricia M. Koth, Caselaw Updates  

Donald D. David v. Bartel Enterprises (Nitro Green) and SFM Mut. Ins. Co., No. WC13-5567 (W.C.C.A. Oct. 23, 2013) The employer and insurer unsuccessfully appealed a $13,000 attorney fee award under Roraff and Irwin. If an attorney obtains medical benefits for a claimant, he is entitled to statutory fees.  An attorney can claim 25 percent of the first $4,000 and 20 percent of the next $60,000.  Minn....

Weisman v. Tierney Broths. Constr. and Auto-Owners Ins. Group

October 18, 2013  |   By Patricia M. Koth, Caselaw Updates  

Weisman v. Tierney Broths. Constr. and Auto-Owners Ins. Group, No. WC13-5583 (W.C.C.A. Oct. 18, 2013) The W.C.C.A. affirmed a compensation judge’s ruling that the injuries an employee sustained during a rescue attempt were compensable because they arose out of and in the course of his employment. The employee worked for the employer as a storm damage estimator.  He inspected roofs for storm damage...

Ahmed v. Loop Parking Co and SFM Mut. Ins. Co.

October 15, 2013  |   By Patricia M. Koth, Caselaw Updates  

Ahmed v. Loop Parking Co and SFM Mut. Ins. Co., (W.C.C.A. October 15, 2013) The employee unsuccessfully appealed an order granting discontinuance of temporary total disability benefits because he had refused an offer of work under Minn. Stat. § 176.01, subd. 1(i). The employee worked as a parking lot attendant during the day shift.  The employer lost its account with the parking lot the employee...

Villarreal v. AAA Galvanizing and Sentry Ins. Co.

October 04, 2013  |   By Patricia M. Koth, Caselaw Updates  

Villarreal v. AAA Galvanizing and Sentry Ins. Co., No. WC13-5575 (W.C.C.A. October 4, 2013) The employer and insurer unsuccessfully appealed a compensation judge’s finding that an employee’s left knee injury arose out of and in the course of his employment. On March 26, 2013, the employee arrived approximately 10 to 20 minutes before his scheduled shift and parked in the employer’s parking lot. ...

Dahl v. Rice County and Minnesota Counties Intergov’t Trust, Inc.

October 02, 2013  |   By Patricia M. Koth, Caselaw Updates  

Dahl v. Rice County and Minnesota Counties Intergov’t Trust, Inc., No. WC13-5572 (October 2, 2013) The employee unsuccessfully appealed from a compensation judge’s denial of his claims for neuropsychological testing and psychotherapy treatment. The employee worked as a deputy sheriff for the employer, Rice County, from 1992 until 2005 during which time he sustained four admitted work injuries: The...

Gabrielson v. McIntosh Embossing and SFM Ins. Group

October 02, 2013  |   By Patricia M. Koth, Caselaw Updates  

Gabrielson v. McIntosh Embossing and SFM Ins. Group, No. WC13-5599 (W.C.C.A. Oct. 2, 2013) The employee successfully petitioned to vacate three Stipulations for Settlement and Awards on the basis of showing a substantial unanticipated change in medical condition and establishing good cause under Minn. Stat § 176.461. In this case, the employee injured his right shoulder in 1988.  The employer and...

Colindres v. ABM Janitorial Servs. and ACE USA

October 01, 2013  |   By Patricia M. Koth, Caselaw Updates  

Colindres v. ABM Janitorial Servs. and ACE USA, No. WC13-5584 (October 1, 2013) The employer and insurer unsuccessfully appealed a compensation judge’s findings that the employee had incapacitating back pain and the proposed back surgery was reasonable and necessary. The employee injured his low back on two occasions in 2011 while working for the employer as a janitor. In addition to this full-time...

Goetzinger v. K-Mart CORP. and Minnesota Self-Insurers Sec. Fund/Berkley Risk Adm’rs.

August 23, 2013  |   By Patricia M. Koth, Caselaw Updates  

Goetzinger v. K-Mart CORP. and Minnesota Self-Insurers Sec. Fund/Berkley Risk Adm’rs.  No. WC12-5492 (W.C.C.A. August 23, 2013) K-Mart and its workers’ compensation insurer unsuccessfully appealed a compensation judge’s finding that an employee is qualified for the purpose of vocational rehabilitation services. In 1983, an employee sustained a work-related lower back injury while working as...

Bowman (deceased employee) by Carol McIntire (petitioner) v. A & M Moving & Storage Co. and Vanliner Ins. Co.

August 14, 2013  |   By Patricia M. Koth, Caselaw Updates  

Bowman (deceased employee) by Carol McIntire (petitioner) v. A & M Moving & Storage Co. and Vanliner Ins. Co.  No. WC13-5551 (W.C.C.A. August 14, 2013) In January 2014, the Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed this decision without an opinion. The employer and insurer unsuccessfully appealed from a W.C.C.A. decision affirming a compensation judge’s finding that the employee’s death from a...

Miralda De La Cruz v. Sunrise of Edina and Sedgwick Claims Mgmt. Servs., Inc.

August 09, 2013  |   By Kelly P. Falsani, Caselaw Updates  

Miralda De La Cruz v. Sunrise of Edina and Sedgwick Claims Mgmt. Servs., Inc., No. WC12-5530 (WCCA, Aug. 9, 2013) This is a case in which the employee filed a medical request seeing approval of a MedX Program as recommended by Physicians’ Diagnostics and Rehabilitation (PDR), after sustaining an admitted December 6, 2011 injury to her low back. The employee underwent various treatment modalities,...

Gamble v. Twin Cities Concrete Prods.

July 08, 2013  |   By Melissa Hareid Cashman, Caselaw Updates  

UPDATE:  Please see summary of Minnesota Supreme Court Decision of August 13, 2014 Reversing and Remanding the decision of the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals Gamble v. Twin Cities Concrete Prods., No. WC12-5518 (W.C.C.A. July 8, 2013) On May 24, 2010, the Employee fell while performing his job duties for the Employer.  Employer and Insurer admitted that the incident occurred, but denied...

Kainz v. Arrowhead Senior Living Cmty.

April 01, 2013  |   By Melissa Hareid Cashman, Caselaw Updates  

Kainz v. Arrowhead Senior Living Cmty., No. WC12-5511 (W.C.C.A. April 1, 2013) This case is similar to Dykhoff, and the court applied similar reasoning.  The Employee here was a licensed practical nurse who worked at a senior living community.  Her job included dispensing medications.  On the date of injury, the Employee left the main floor to retrieve medications from a locked cage in the basement....

Morgan v. Minnesota Wild Hockey Club

March 25, 2013  |   By Melissa Hareid Cashman, Caselaw Updates  

Morgan v. Minnesota Wild Hockey Club, No. WC12-5505 (W.C.C.A. March 25, 2013) This case deals with average weekly wage calculation.  The employee was a hockey player who had a history of playing for both minor league teams but was often called up to play games for the NHL.  He obtained a position with the Minnesota Wild for the 2006-2007 hockey season.  During that season, he played a number of...

House v. Heartland Homecare

January 28, 2013  |   By Sarah A. Bennett, Caselaw Updates  

House v. Heartland Homecare, WC12-5474 (W.C.C.A. Jan. 28, 2013) In this case, the W.C.C.A. affirmed the compensation judge’s findings that the Employee’s medical treatment was reasonable, necessary, and causally related to her specific work injury, and that the prescribed medications were both effective and cost effective. The W.C.C.A. also held that the compensation judge did not err when she wrote...

Gilbert v. Independent Sch. Dist. 615

January 23, 2013  |   By Sarah A. Bennett, Caselaw Updates  

Gilbert v. Independent Sch. Dist. 615, WC12-5481 (W.C.C.A. Jan. 23, 2013) In this case, the W.C.C.A. held that substantial evidence supported the compensation judge’s finding that the Employee was not in the course of his employment when he died. The Employee was a 38-year-old custodian. On the date of his death, his job duties were to shampoo a carpet and to secure the school by ensuring that no...

Lindsey Kanable v. Service Master of Rochester, and SECURA Ins. Cos.

January 21, 2013  |   By Kelly P. Falsani, Caselaw Updates  

Lindsey Kanable v. Service Master of Rochester, and SECURA Ins. Cos., WCCA, Jan. 21, 2013; No. WC12-5466. This case involves a very interesting fact patter in which the Employee was working in a typical office setting near the frontage road along Trunk Highway 52, when a runaway tractor-trailer semi went off of Highway 52 at 50 to 60 miles per hour, traveled between the highway and the building, and...

Miller v. Brambleberry Farm

January 15, 2013  |   By Sarah A. Bennett, Caselaw Updates  

Miller v. Brambleberry Farm, No. WC12-5464 (W.C.C.A. Jan. 15, 2013) The issue in this case was whether substantial evidence supported the compensation judge’s finding that the Employee’s work-related shoulder injuries were temporary aggravations of a preexisting condition and that these temporary aggravations did not substantially contribute to the Employee’s need for her bilateral shoulder surgeries....