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The Matthew Bender publication, Rassp & Herlick, California Workers' Compensation Law, has been cited three times by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in its recent decision, Angelotti Chiropractic v. Baker, which upheld an important component of the 2012 reform of the California workers’ compensation system. The 2012 reform legislation imposed a $100 activation fee on old liens filed by independent contract companies on behalf of medical providers who sought payment from injured workers and workers’ compensation insurers. The goal was to reduce the burden imposed on the workers’ compensation system caused by a backlog of over 800,000 liens, which delayed the payment of meritorious liens and encouraged the payment of frivolous liens.
The fee was imposed on the independent contract companies, but not on other organizations, such as union trust funds and group health plans. The legislature had determined that the vast majority of liens were filed by the contract companies, and the goal was to force those companies and their clients to bear the cost of resolving this crisis. The contract companies argued that by focusing on them, the fee violated the Takings Clause and the Due Process and Equal Protection rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
The Ninth Circuit cited to Rassp & Herlick to explain why the lien procedure existed and how the procedure worked, and then ruled that the activation fee did not violate the constitutional rights of the contract companies. The court found that the legislature had a rational basis to impose the fee on contract companies, while exempting other lien claimants.
Rassp & Herlick, California Workers' Compensation Law, Seventh Edition: Considered by the courts as a leading resource for California workers' compensation, the popular Herlick treatise provides quick answers on this complex area of law. This publication is available via the LexisNexis® Store.