SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Applicants’ Attorneys Association (CAAA), whose members represent Californians injured on the job, today responded to the indictment of Sen. Ron Calderon and the guilty plea by Dr. Michael Drobot for workers’ compensation fraud. CAAA President Jim Butler said, “When workers’ compensation insurers, physicians, or attorneys act without high ethical standards, injured workers ultimately suffer. Over and over we have seen the use of unacceptable practices by a few as a platform to assault the basic rights of injured workers.” Butler said that CAAA is “working with our members to develop a Code of Ethical Standards strengthening the rules of professional conduct as applicable to workers’ compensation advocates.”
Butler said that CAAA is also urging stronger standards for all parties to the workers’ compensation system, and strengthening penalties for unreasonable delay and denial of recommended medical treatment and approved disability compensation. “Insurers who knowingly delay and deny recommended medical treatment engage in fraud just as surely as physicians who refer patients to a particular medical provider in return for a payment. Both must be stopped because they harm injured workers,” said Butler. “We invite the entire workers’ compensation community to adopt similar standards for claims adjustors, medical providers and others.”
Butler said CAAA is developing clear rules of professional conduct that both support strong advocacy for injured workers’ legitimate needs while specifying what CAAA considers to be unethical behavior by any party to a workers’ compensation claim.