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Ford Richardson achieves significant reversal in Sclafani v. City of Charlottesville rejecting the holding that an injury can occur over a four-hour period in Virginia! More to follow! Should you have any questions about the issues discussed here or other legal issues, please do not hesitate to contact the lawyers at Ford Richardson. Ford Richardson is a full-service law firm with headquarters located in Richmond’s financial district and satellite offices in Southwest Virginia, Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. Our commitment to our clients is simple: offer top-tier clear legal solutions that allow our clients to excel in their business. We...

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Webinar – Make Sure You Have The Tools: Workers’ Compensation Issues For The Construction Industry

This webinar took place on:  Tuesday, September 7, 2021 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT Please click here to view the recording of this Virtual Seminar Agenda: Don’t Fall For It: A Discussion of Heights, Ladders, and Compensability in Virginia   Corinne M. Bahner, Associate Enacting Safety Rules that Stick Scott C. Ford, Partner Avoiding Becoming a Covered Statutory Employer Audrey M. Marcello, Partner Legalized Drugs: Is There a Place for Them in the Workplace? Roberta A. Paluck, Of Counsel Should you have any questions about the issues discussed here or other legal issues, please do not hesitate to contact the...

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Virginia Supreme Court Affirms Finding that Employee Murdered at Work Limited to Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Days ago the Virginia Supreme Court issued an Opinion in Gladys Lopez, As Personal Representative of the Estate of Lizeth Lopez v. Intercept Youth Services, Inc., Record No. 191545 (August 5, 2021). In Lopez, the decedent, an Evening Support Counselor for at-risk youth in a residential program, was murdered by one of the residents. The trial court sustained the Plea in Bar filed by the employer. The Virginia Supreme Court held that the trial court did not err in finding that the exclusive remedy available to the Estate were those benefits available under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act (“the Act”)....

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What Does the Legalization of Marijuana Mean for Employers?

On July 1, 2021, Virginia became the first southern state to legalize adult use of marijuana. Virginia’s new marijuana law, however, has left employers with more questions than answers. Further complicating matters is the fact that marijuana prohibition continues at the federal level. Because Virginia decriminalized the simple possession of marijuana in 2020, employers can no longer require job applicants to disclose information regarding arrests, charges or convictions for simple possession of marijuana. Employers can still ask about other criminal convictions; however, they must state that the conviction is not an automatic disqualification to employment. As of 2021, nothing prohibits...

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20TH ANNUAL WORKERS’ COMPENSATION SEMINAR

This webinar took place on: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 from 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM EDT Where:  Virtual Seminar Agenda: 1:00 p.m. Welcome presented by:  Scott C. Ford, Esq. 1:10 p.m. TBIs and Concussion – Phony or Real?  Understanding the Medical & Legal Components presented by:  Scott W. Sautter, Ph.D., Audrey M. Marcello, Esq., Brian J. McNamara, Esq. 2:30 p.m. Review of Recent Important Legal Decisions – Is it Compensable or Not? presented by:  Scott C. Ford, Esq., Brian A. Richardson, Esq., Kwabena A. Akowuah, Esq. 4:15 p.m. Updates at the Commission and Legislative Updates presented by:  Corinne M. Bahner,...

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Full Commission Issues Opinion on First COVID-19 Claim

The Full Commission days ago ruled upon the first claim for benefits associated with COVID-19 to reach them: Rountree v. Traditions Seniors Management, Inc., JCN No. VA00001742408 (June 9, 2021). The Full Commission affirmed the finding of the Deputy Commissioner that the claimant failed to meet her burden of establishing that her diagnosis for COVID-19 was either a disease or an injury by accident. The claimant, a licensed practical nurse at a long-term care facility, contended that she had been exposed to COVID-19 at work through a co-worker. Claimant alleged that this co-worker worked in close proximity to her, coughed...

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Legalization of Marijuana is Coming to Virginia – And Sooner Rather Than Later

Effective July 1, 2020, we saw the decriminalization of marijuana in Virginia. Legislation passed then provided for a civil penalty of $25.00 for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana. No arrests could be made and no criminal records could be created. The legislation explicitly sealed past marijuana convictions from employers and school administrators. Later in 2020, legislation was passed which allowed individuals to pre-pay their civil penalties, much like a traffic citation, which eliminated the need to appear in court. Even greater strides were taken by the 2021 Virginia General Assembly. Legislation was enacted to legalize the cultivation,...

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The Supreme Court of Virginia Again Reverses a Case Decided Against an Employer at Every Level Below

For many years, it has been assumed that if a claimant had one limb severely injured in an occupational injury, and a second limb severely injured as a compensable consequence, those two injured limbs could form the basis of a claim for permanent and total disability. The Supreme Court of Virginia disproved that assumption this week in Merck & Co., Inc. v. Vincent, Record No. 20022 (2021). Vincent, a pharmaceutical sales representative for Merck & Co., Inc. (“Merck”) injured his neck and left upper extremity while making a sales call at a physician’s office. The Commission awarded the claimant with...

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The Mystery of the Disappearing Chair: The Commission Finds an Explanation for an Unexplained Accident

In every case, a claimant is required to prove two things by a preponderance of the evidence: (1) that their accident occurred in the course of their employment and (2) that their injury was caused by some condition of the employment that put them at greater risk of injury than the general public. In Virginia Workers’ Compensation 101, employers, attorneys, adjusters, and claims administrators learned that simple acts of walking, bending, and standing – without more – were not compensable and should be denied. Similarly, if an injured worker could not explain what caused their accident, their claim should be...

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