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Larres: State Supreme Court Denies Review of Our Appellate Win

  • State: California

The California Supreme Court denied review of a published decision finding that the Salvation Army was not the employer of a man who was ordered to enlist in a residential drug rehabilitation program as part of his probation.

Louis A. Larres

Louis A. Larres

The high court’s ruling means the 2nd District Court of Appeal’s decision in Velasquez v. WCAB is now final and remains precedent. The Law Offices of Bradford & Barthel represented the Salvation Army in the case, and I represented the Salvation Army at the appellate level.

The case featured an inmate who was injured while completing a residential drug rehabilitation program run by the Salvation Army. The inmate, Jose Velazquez, alleged he was employed by the Salvation Army, the County of Santa Barbara, or both.

At the trial level, the workers’ compensation judge ruled that Labor Code Section 3301(b) applied and that neither the Salvation Army nor the county was his employer. The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board affirmed the trial court’s decision.

Velazquez appealed to the 2nd DCA and made multiple arguments that Section 3301(b) did not apply to the Salvation Army. The appellate court rejected the argument and concluded that the Salvation Army was not his employer. The 2nd DCA remanded for further development of the record about whether the County of Santa Barbara was Velazquez’s employer.

Velazquez filed a petition for review with the California Supreme Court, which denied review on Wednesday.

To read the 2nd DCA’s decision, click here.

Louis Larres is a partner and area managing attorney at Bradford and Barthel’s Fresno office, and the director of the firm’s Appellate Division. This entry from Bradford & Barthel's blog appears with permission.

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