Bober, Peterson & Koby, LLP kicks off 2020 with three Take Nothings

Posted: February 23, 2020

Bober, Peterson & Koby, LLP begins the 2020 year picking up where they left off in 2019. The firm has received three Take Nothing Orders in 2020 to follow their four take nothing’s in 2019 (Clayton Bellinger v. SF Giants; Evan Moore v. Cleveland Browns; Wayne Gandy v. Atlanta Falcons and Will Ohman v. Washington Nationals).

The first Defense victory was the case of Randy Keisler v. Los Angeles Dodgers which arrived on January 27, 2020. Kay Snyder obtained a take nothing order on behalf of the Dodgers and their carrier, Ace American Insurance administered by Sedgwick Riverside. The case went to trial on the issue of whether the claim was barred by the Statute of Limitations. The January 27, 2020 decision ordered Applicant take nothing as his claim filed on June 7, 2018 was more than one year from when Applicant, “clearly knew in 2014 that some of his Orthopedic injury complaints, namely his shoulder and knee problems, were in part connected to his 2011 employment activities with the Dodgers.” The Applicant was ordered to take nothing by virtue of his claim being barred by the Statute of Limitations.

BPK obtained a second take nothing decision on the case of Dustin Hermanson v. San Francisco Giants. Originally, the case was filed against the Chicago White Sox, the MLB team Hermanson last played for, however they were dismissed at trial in July 2019. The case then proceeded to trial against the San Francisco Giants on a jurisdictional basis. Tim Peterson was the Defense Attorney on the case and he successfully argued that the San Francisco Giants were exempt from liability pursuant to Labor Code section 3600.5(d) as there was no jurisdiction over the Applicant’s last year of work as a professional athlete (with the White Sox in 2006 and Spring Training with the Reds in 2007) and the Applicant did not satisfy the conditions to maintain a viable California CT claim. Further, the firm argued on behalf of the Giants that liability would not ‘rollback’ to the Giants as Labor Codes section 3600.5(d)(1)(B)(2) and Labor Code section 5500.5 prevented the rollback of liability to the Giants. The WCJ agreed with Defendant’s argument and found that as there was no jurisdiction over the last year of work as a professional athlete, the claim was barred, and liability did not rollback pursuant to the plain language of Labor Code section 5500.5.

Finally, Steven Stewart of the firm obtained a take nothing award on February 20, 2020, prevailing in the case of Jonathan Sanchez v. San Francisco Giants when the WCJ found that Applicant’s claim was barred by Labor Code section 3600.5(d). The Applicant argued that for purpose of Labor Code section 3600.5(d) that his time playing in the Winter League and Foreign professional baseball leagues should not be counted when calculating whether his claim was barred under LC section 3600.5(d). The WCJ agreed with the Defense argument that the winter league seasons and foreign league seasons were to be counted in determining whether an Applicant satisfied the conditions of Labor Code section 3600.5(d). The WCJ agreed with the Defense position that all seasons should be counted, whether with a U.S. based minor or major league club or whether the Applicant was playing professionally overseas. The WCJ stated, “No distinction is made between seasons played for major or minor league teams and what Applicant characterizes as ‘foreign baseball’ and ‘foreign winter league baseball’. The fact that the non-major/minor league seasons are played between major/minor league seasons does not support the assertion that Labor Code section 3600.5 ‘does not cover all levels of paying baseball’. Nor does the fact that there could be multiple seasons within one calendar year mean that the foreign winter play does not fit the definition of a season in section 3600.5.” The Applicant was ordered to take nothing.

Bober, Peterson & Koby, LLP continue to not just aggressively advocate on behalf of their clients like most every defense firm claims – but they continue to successfully advocate on behalf of their clients. The firm carefully and thoughtfully works with their clients to identify the right cases to take to trial, and when a decision is made to try a case, they thoughtfully develop the record and succinctly and clearly articulate the issues in an understandable way for the trial judge to issue their decisions. While the firm doesn’t win every case they try, with seven take nothing orders over a 14 month period, and dozens of dismissals on behalf of their clients in that same time frame, they continue to build on their reputation as being a top tier workers’ compensation defense firm.

If you’d like to see a copy of the decisions referenced above or would like to discuss how the firm can better assist your company in defending workers’ compensation cases in California, please reach out to Kelly Santos the Director of Client Services. She can be reached at kelly@bpkfirm.com or by telephone at 714-750-9421. She will be happy to provide the cases or put you in touch with the right partner for your business.

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