CHARLESTON, S.C.– August 5, 2020 – Hall Booth Smith, P.C. is delighted to welcome Of Counsel Margaret “Meg” H. Donahue to its growing office in Charleston, South Carolina, as the firm expands its workers’ compensation practice. Meg represents employers and insurance carriers in coverage disputes, compensability to medically complex cases and toxic exposure in the workplace. Earlier in her career, she spent many years with a large firm in

Written by: Kawania B. James, Esq.  Last year, the Court of Appeals of Georgia's decision in Frett v. State Farm Employee Workers' Compensation, et al. created a bright-line rule that protected what is commonly referred to as the lunch break exception, despite the potential conflict between the ingress and egress rule. On June 16, 2020, the Supreme Court of Georgia reversed the Court of Appeals and overruled the Supreme

Written by: Rayford H. Taylor, Esq. The First District Court of Appeal (First District) in City of Bartow v. Flores, 1D18-1927 (May 29, 2020) has certified a question of great public importance to the Florida Supreme Court on the issue of when a workers’ compensation carrier has “provided” an alternate physician pursuant to F.S. 440.13(2)(f).  The dispute in this case was over whether the employer/carrier (E/C) complied with the

Written by: Rayford Taylor, Esq.  It has been suggested that if an employee cannot obtain workers' compensation benefits because of COVID-19, that employee might sue the employer under the employer's liability portion of a workers' compensation policy. For purposes of this discussion, workers' compensation policies essentially consist of two parts.  Part One, known as Workers' Compensation Insurance, provides coverage to the employer for an employee who sustains a bodily injury

Written by: Denise L. Dawson, Esq. Florida has taken steps to move forward into an enlightened age of technology but may be setting itself up for increased fraud from unscrupulous actors. As recently as last month, the State’s Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis, issued a statement on April 7, 2020 urging health insurers to take full advantage of technology and broaden the use of telemedicine. This was on the

Written by: Daniel Richardson, Esq. and Peter Skaliy, Esq. Before COVID-19, many companies were experimenting with remote work. It has now become a widespread reality. This creates unique worker’s compensation risks, even as it may decrease the likelihood of some of the more serious or even catastrophic claims. An employee’s home environment is less subject to the control of the employer, and it may be less ergonomically friendly. Employers

Written by: Rayford H. Taylor, Esq. Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis, has issued Directive 2020-05 to provide workers’ compensation coverage to “frontline state employees” who contract COVID-19.  Florida’s Risk Management Department provides workers’ compensation coverage to state employees.  The Risk Management Department will now have to provide workers’ compensation coverage to such workers who contract the virus.  “Frontline state employees” are defined by Directive 2020-05 as essentially law

Written by: Peter Skaily, Esq. There has been extensive literature published in the past few weeks across the United States explaining the reasons that COVID-19 is (for most, if not all, states) not a covered "accident" and "injury" under the given state's workers' compensation laws. However, on April 7, 2020, the Minnesota Legislature removed all ambiguity on whether certain groups' contraction of the COVID-19 virus is a compensable injury. Specifically,

Written by: Ann Bishop, Esq. Effective March 17, 2020, all Social Security Administration field offices were closed to the public in an effort to slow the growing rate of COVID-19 sufferers.  In response to the field office closure, the Social Security Administration is not providing information about Social Security Disability Insurance status to third parties.  For the present, to obtain information regarding SSDI status, claimants must obtain a "Social

Written by: Meredith Knight, Esq. Last week, we posted our conclusions regarding the compensability, or really, lack thereof, regarding COVID-19 in the workplace as specifically pertaining to the Georgia Workers' Compensation Act. What follows are three common scenarios employers currently experience that raise further questions about COVID-19 in the workplace. First, please review our initial post regarding the reasons why COVID-19 will almost never be compensable in Georgia. After