Workers’ Compensation Practice
Jardine, Logan & O’Brien has been effectively handling workers’ compensation matters for more than 50 years. Our clients in workers’ compensation matters include:
- Insurance companies
- Third-party claims administrators
Jardine, Logan & O’Brien’s workers’ compensation attorneys provide our clients with valuable analysis and advice from the time of a claimed injury, throughout the litigation process, and through appeal. From the defense standpoint, the employee’s initial filing of an injury and claim is one of the most important times for an employer and insurer to consult with an attorney. Making an initial determination on whether to accept a claim is crucial to future handling. Moreover, workers’ compensation benefits are open ended, making proper and timely analysis concerning the nature of the injury, medical treatment, anticipated wage loss, and return to work issues crucial. The workers’ compensation attorneys at Jardine, Logan & O’Brien work with the employer and the insurer to identify the issues that arise from the claimed injury, and consult with our client to defend or settle the claim in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
With workers’ compensation attorneys licensed in Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Iowa, Jardine, Logan & O’Brien’s workers’ compensation group represents clients at all stages of workers’ compensation proceedings, including:
- Administrative Conferences
- Settlement Conferences
- Formal Evidentiary Hearings
Our workers’ compensation attorneys frequently speak at seminars to educate clients on matters specific to workers’ compensation.
Minnesota Supreme Court:
- Vezina v. Best Western Inn Maplewood, 627 N.W.2d 324 (Minn. 2001). Established that the offset against permanent total disability benefits for receipt of government disability or retirement benefits was to be applied dollar for dollar even though the offset could reduce the employee’s workers’ compensation benefits paid below 65% of the average weekly wage. This reversed a compensation judge’s holding that the offset could not reduce permanent total disability benefits payable to below 65% of the statewide average weekly wage.
- Bruns v. City of St. Paul, 555 N.W.2d 522 (Minn. 1996). Reversed an award of permanent partial disability benefits payable at the higher tier of economic recovery compensation. The employer was afforded the opportunity to offer suitable employment to the employee within 90 days after a final determination on the unsuitability of a prior job offer is final.
- Even v. Kraft, Inc., 445 N.W.2d 831 (Minn. 1989). Determined that the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals exceeded its statutory authority in reversing a compensation judge’s finding that the employee had failed to establish he was disabled by a work injury at the time he left his employment. This case reversed the decision of the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals, and reinstated the decision of the compensation judge, holding that the credibility of a witness is the unique function of the compensation judge and must be upheld if supported by substantial evidence.
Minnesota Workers Compensation Court of Appeals:
- Gilbert v. Independent Sch. Dist. 615, 73 W.C.D. 69 (W.C.C.A. 2013). Affirmed the compensation judge’s denial of dependency benefits on the grounds that the employee’s death did not occur in the course of employment. The WCCA rejected the petitioner’s arguments that the unexplained cause of death should result in a presumption of compensability.
- Eide v. Award Constr. Co., Inc., 72 W.C.D. 605 (W.C.C.A. 2012). Affirmed the compensation judge’s denial of dependency benefits on the basis that the employee’s fatal heart attack did not arise out of and in the course of employment.
- Janikowski v. Janikowski, 72 W.C.D. 59 (W.C.C.A. 2012). Reversed the compensation judge’s average weekly wage determination and corresponding award of wage loss benefits. The WCCA held that the employee’s average weekly wage should be based upon the actual net profits of his business rather than the wage he paid his own workers to do the same work he was performing. The employee’s average weekly wage based upon actual net profits was substantially lower and resulted in no wage loss benefits payable.
- Rubertus v. Schwan’s Inc., 68 W.C.D. 315 (W.C.C.A. 2008) aff’d 757 N.W.2d 179 (Minn. 2008). Affirmed the compensation judge’s finding that the employee did not sustain a Gillette-type injury while employed with the employer at issue, because the evidence showed that an acute change in the employee’s symptomology occurred a full month after he had been laid off at the employer of issue.
- Prochnow v. Robert Gibb & Sons, Inc., 66 W.C.D. 353 (W.C.C.A. 2006) aff’d 720 N.W.2d 589 (Minn. 2006). Affirmed the compensation judge’s ruling that various union benefits, including pension funds, health and welfare fund, apprenticeship fund, and international training fund are not be included in the computation of the employee’s average weekly wage because they could not be used at the employee’s discretion and were not taxable.
- Meyers v. K-Byte Hibbing Manufacturing, 66 W.C.D. 148 (W.C.C.A. 2005) aff’d 713 N.W.2d 41 (Minn. 2006). The WCCA reversed an award of penalties where the employee’s settlement payment was sent to his attorney rather than directly to the employee, because the employee’s own attorney put the check in the mail to the employee within the required 14 days.
- Nadeau v. Institute for Environmental Assessment, 65 W.C.D. 337 (W.C.C.A. 2005). Affirmed the compensation judge’s finding that the disability schedule assigns a 10% whole body disability for a fusion at multiple levels regardless of the fact that it took more than one surgery to complete the fusion.
- Kittleson v. Miramar, 63 W.C.D. 252 (W.C.C.A. 2003). Affirmed the compensation judge’s apportionment of liability attributable to a time barred injury to the next injury in time rather than apportioning it equally to subsequent injuries.
- Aultman v. Search Resources, Inc. and Rajala Timber Co., 58 W.C.D. 89 (W.C.C.A. 1997). Affirmed the compensation judge’s finding that a temporary employment agency was primarily liable for workers’ compensation benefits. In doing so, the WCCA rejected the application of the loaned servant doctrine where the terms of the oral contract between the temporary agency and the employer precluded its application.
- Garner v. Mobile Washer, slip. op. (W.C.C.A. Dec. 4, 2012). Reversed the compensation judge’s denial of the employer’s Petition to Discontinue wage loss benefits on the grounds that the employee had withdrawn from the labor market by reason of his incarceration. The WCCA rejected the employee’s argument that because he had not been released to return to work at the time of his incarceration, his absence from the labor market was due to the work injury.
- Matykiewicz v. Denny Hecker’s Rosedale Dodge, slip. op. (W.C.C.A. Oct. 18, 2010). Reversed a 22% permanent partial disability award for the employee’s 2003 work injury. The WCCA held that where the employee’s condition met all requirements for a 22% permanent partial disability rating prior to the employee’s 2003 work injury, there was no causal connection between the 22% permanent partial disability rating and the 2003 work injury.
- Garski v. Macy’s Inc., slip. op. (W.C.C.A. Aug. 18, 2009). Affirmed the compensation judge’s denial of temporary total disability benefits and medical treatment expenses on the grounds that substantial evidence supported findings that the employee had reached maximum medical improvement and that he had fully recovered from his work injury.
- Dietrich v. U.S. Airways, Inc., slip. op. (W.C.C.A. May 30, 2008). Affirmed the compensation judge’s conclusion that the employee’s attorney should receive his fee from temporary total disability benefits paid to the employee as a result of the attorney’s work in securing approval of retraining, and refused to award additional Heaton fees payable by the employer and insurer.
- Yates v. Muller Logging, Inc., slip. op. (W.C.C.A. Jan. 3, 2007). Reversed the compensation judge’s award of permanent partial disability benefits on the basis that there was no finding of maximum medical improvement.
- Valstad v. Transport Designs, slip. op. (W.C.C.A. Mar. 11, 2003). Affirmed the compensation judge’s finding that dependency benefits mistakenly overpaid to the petitioner were not received in “good faith.”
Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission:
- Lenox v. Xcel Energy Services Inc. and Ace American Ins. Co., No. 2007-035350, 2012 WI. Wrk. Comp. LEXIS, unpublished slip. op. (WI Wrk. Comp. Aug. 30, 2012). Affirmed the administrative judge’s finding that applicant’s occupational lung injury did not arise out of the course of employment with the employer but from years of smoking tobacco products.
- Denning v. Eau Claire Foundry Company and Lumbermen’s Underwriting Alliance, No. 89-046888, 1990 WI Wrk. Comp. LEXIS 11, unpublished slip. op. (WI Wrk. Comp. Sept. 27, 1990). Dismissed claim where applicant failed to establish that he sustained the injury claimed.
- Johnson v. Harvest State Elevators and Home Insurance Co, No. 85-033419, 1990 WI Wrk. Comp. LEXIS 394, unpublished slip. op. (WI Wrk. Comp. May 1, 1990). Dismissed back injury claim that was claimed to have arisen out of a slip and fall at work where injury claimed was not due to the particular incident cited.
- Lee v. Penta Wood Products, Inc. and Lumbermen’s Underwriter Alliance, No. 88-016856, 1990 WI Wrk. Comp. LEXIS 201, unpublished slip. op. (WI Wrk. Comp. Apr. 12, 1990). Denied claim for permanent partial disability payments where expert testimony revealed that the back pain complained of by applicant was due to an old injury in his right hip and that none of his current conditions were work-related.
- Jardine, Logan & O’Brien, 2013 Periodic Table of Basic Workers’ Compensation Elements (2013).
- Jardine, Logan & O’Brien, ADA/FMLA/WC Comparison Chart (2011).
- Thomas L. Cummings, Vocational Rehabilitation for the Injured Worker in Minnesota from the Perspective of the Employer and Insurer (2004).
- Thomas L. Cummings, Retraining and Permanent Total Disability under the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act (2002).
Minnesota Defense Lawyers, Workers’ Compensation Committee, Minnesota Self Insurer’s Association, and Twin Cities Claims Association.