California Labor Codes 5502

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California > Labor Codes

§ 5502 Time limits for hearing

History:



(a) Except as provided in subdivisions (b) and (d), the hearing shall be held not less than 10 days, and not more than 60 days, after the date a declaration of readiness to proceed, on a form prescribed by the court administrator, is filed. If a claim form has been filed for an injury occurring on or after January 1, 1990, and before January 1, 1994, an application for adjudication shall accompany the declaration of readiness to proceed.

(b) The court administrator shall establish a priority calendar for issues requiring an expedited hearing and decision.  A hearing shall be held and a determination as to the rights of the parties shall be made and filed within 30 days after the declaration of readiness to proceed is filed if the issues in dispute are any of the following:
(1) The employee's entitlement to medical treatment pursuant to Section  4600.
(2) The employee's entitlement to, or the amount of, temporary disability indemnity payments.
(3) The employee's entitlement to vocational rehabilitation services, or the termination of an employer's liability to provide these services to an employee.
(4) The employee's entitlement to compensation from one or more responsible employers when two or more employers dispute liability as among themselves.
(5) Any other issues requiring an expedited hearing and determination as prescribed in rules and regulations of the administrative director.
(c) The court administrator shall establish a priority conference calendar for cases in which the employee is represented by an attorney and the issues in dispute are employment or injury arising out of employment or in the course of employment.  The conference shall be conducted by a workers' compensation administrative law judge within 30 days after the declaration of readiness to proceed. If the dispute cannot be resolved at the conference, a trial shall be set as expeditiously as possible, unless good cause is shown why discovery is not complete, in which case status conferences shall be held at regular intervals.  The case shall be set for trial when discovery is complete, or when the workers' compensation administrative law judge determines that the parties have had sufficient time in which to complete reasonable discovery.  A determination as to the rights of the parties shall be made and filed within 30 days after the trial.
(d) The court administrator shall report quarterly to the Governor and to the Legislature concerning the frequency and types of issues which are not heard and decided within the period prescribed in this section and the reasons therefor.
(e) (1) In all cases, a mandatory settlement conference shall be conducted not less than 10 days, and not more than 30 days, after the filing of a declaration of readiness to proceed.  If the dispute is not resolved, the regular hearing shall be held within 75 days after the declaration of readiness to proceed is filed.
(2) The settlement conference shall be conducted by a workers' compensation administrative law judge or by a referee who is eligible to be a workers' compensation administrative law judge or eligible to be an arbitrator under Section  5270.5.  At the mandatory settlement conference, the referee or workers' compensation administrative law judge shall have the authority to resolve the dispute, including the authority to approve a compromise and release or issue a stipulated finding and award, and if the dispute cannot be resolved, to frame the issues and stipulations for trial.  The appeals board shall adopt any regulations needed to implement this subdivision.  The presiding workers' compensation administrative law judge shall supervise settlement conference referees in the performance of their judicial functions under this subdivision.
(3) If the claim is not resolved at the mandatory settlement conference, the parties shall file a pretrial conference statement noting the specific issues in dispute, each party's proposed permanent disability rating, and listing te exhibits, and disclosing witnesses.  Discovery shall close on the date of the mandatory settlement conference.  Evidence not disclosed or obtained thereafter shall not be admissible unless the proponent of the evidence can demonstrate that it was not available or could not have been discovered by the exercise of due diligence prior to the settlement conference.
(f) In cases involving the Director of the Department of Industrial Relations in his or her capacity as administrator of the Uninsured Employers Fund, this section shall not apply unless proof of service, as specified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) of Section  3716 has been filed with the appeals board and provided to the Director of Industrial Relations, valid jurisdiction has been established over the employer, and the fund has been joined.
(g) Except as provided in subdivision (a) and in Section  4065, the provisions of this section shall apply irrespective of the date of injury.
  FURTHER RESOURCES

County of Sacramento v. WCAB (Estrada)

Note: WCAB violated 5502(d)(3) by allowing record to remain open to get supp. medical report.

SCIF v. WCAB (Welcher)

Note: Failure to reject claim within 90 days created presumption of compensability; Testimony inadmissible b/c not identified as witness at MSC.

San Bernardino Comm. Hospital v. WCAB

Note: Applicant unfairly didn't disclose doctor's report or witness at MSC; Board's power to develop record can't circumvent 5502(d)(3).

County of Sacramento v. WCAB (Estrada)

Note: Judge improperly left open discovery to get supp. med. report after MSC.

Telles Transport v. WCAB (Zuniga)

Note: Where a party's own conduct caused or induced the error he is estopped from appealing the issue of that error.

Hamilton vs. Lockheed Corp.

Note: Minimum necessary to be in Board file for case to be submitted for decision.

Yee-Sanchez vs. Permanente, etc. et at

Note: Definition of rights, duties, penalties for pre-application discovery.

County of Sacramento v. WCAB (Weatherall)

Note: Board must have Good Cause to set aside stipulations of parties.

Vega vs. Taco Bell; Cal Indemnity

Note: Board shall set expedited hearing when right to medical control under HCO in issue.

Muna v. WCAB

Note: [Unpublished] Employer met its burden of proof in rebutting the presumption of compensability.

Gallo v. WCAB

Note: [Unpublished] When a party fails to seek review within the time allotted, both the WCAB and the court is without jurisdiction to hear future challenges to the decision.

Costa v. Hardy Diagnostic and State Compensation Insurance Fund

Note: Presenting the deposition transcript of an expert from another unrelated case to which insurer was not a party deprives insurer of its fundamental right of cross-examination, and thus, of due process of law.

Grupe Co. v. WCAB (Ridgeway)

Note: Substance of witness testimony not required to be included in pretrial conference statement.