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ISSAQUAH LAW GROUP

Issaquah Law Group: Experienced Counsel; Client Focus

PHILOSOPHY: Formed in 2014, Issaquah Law Group is a law firm with one focus: providing businesses and insurers with high quality legal representation with the responsiveness of a smaller firm. ILG was founded on the principle that strong client relationships are the key to successful legal representation and strong relationships are built upon clear and consistent communication. 

LITIGATION: We work closely with our clients to fully and accurately understand their goals, work collaboratively to formulate specific legal strategies, and execute the agreed plan of action utilizing methods most likely to result in the efficient and effective resolution of the matter. ILG attorneys have a broad base of litigation experience to draw on in all Federal and State courts from on-the-ground investigations to Supreme Court appeals in the areas of personal injury and wrongful death, product liability, commercial general liability, labor & employment, construction litigation, and catastrophic losses due to fire and explosion.

BUSINESS LAW: Rarely is the path from point A to point B a straight line, so our role in a business law practice is to find alternatives, devise workable strategies, and keep your business ideas, goals and objectives moving toward realization. ILG’s business attorneys help clients achieve their goals with respect to business formation, intellectual property, labor and employment, CAN-SPAM, copyright and trademark

COMMUNITY: In addition, the Lawyers at Issaquah Law Group remain active in the legal and civic community. A core commitment of our Issaquah Attorneys is community service. Our attorneys' civic involvement includes the King County Civil Rights Commission; the City of Issaquah Planning Policy Commission; the Northwest Screenwriters Guild, service as a pro tem judge. We live and work in the Pacific Northwest, and we aim to make it a better place.

In addition, through The Amateur Law Professor Blog and LinkedIn postings, we share pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Supreme Court, as well as the pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Courts of Appeal so that our clients can be as update to date on cutting legal issues as we are.

WA Supreme Court: No Second Injury Fund Relief for Post-Pension Treatment

Boeing v. DLI

Here, the worker was exposed to some chemicals through the course of her career. She had a leg injury previously, but the combination of the leg injury and asthma from the exposure made her permanently disabled and she was awarded a pension. Boeing did not want to pay for any treatment caused by the exposure after the pension was awarded. You can imagine how that went down.

Self-insured employers are generally responsible for all disability and medical costs associated with their workers' compensation claims. See RCW 51.08.173 (defining "self-insurer"); WAC 296-15-330 (describing self-insured employers' authorization requirements for medical care). . . . 

In most circumstances, a pensioned worker is not entitled to continued medical benefits. RCW 51.36.010(4). However, the Department may authorize medical treatment for previously accepted conditions, including life-sustaining treatment. Id. This medical treatment results in postpension medical costs, so called because they are not part of the total cost of the pension reserve, which, as explained, is based on an annuity that estimates future wage replacement benefits. See RCW 51.44.070(1 ). . . . 

Because the second injury fund is limited to accident costs, Boeing is not entitled to second injury fund relief for medical costs under RCW 51.16.120(1). RCW 51.44.040, which expressly limits charges to the second injury fund to two statutes, does not discuss medical costs at all. The relevant statute, RCW 51.16.120(1), also does not consider medical costs. There is simply no statute that supports Boeing's position that medical treatment costs must be paid from the second injury fund, and neither RCW 51.44.040 nor RCW 51.16.120(1) relieve Boeing of its duty as a selfinsured employer to cover all costs associated with a worker's claim. 

The attorneys at Issaquah Legal Services can help you navigate the world of the Department of Labor and Industries. If you need help learning your obligations under DLI’s provisions, contact us today.

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