DOAH (Division of Admin Hearings) has published their WC litigation annual report. Some of the comparisons are not apples to apples, DOAH’s fiscal year for the report runs from July 2020 through June 2021. For the comparison, they use the last fiscal year, July 2019 through June 2020. Really only 3 months of the prior year were after the Covid tsunami, so we are comparing last year to a year that was 9 month pre-Covid/3 month post-Covid.
Here are some key takeaways/comparisons from the report:
1. There were 29,752 new litigated WC claims, down 4.7% from 2019-2020.
2. The number of Petitions for Benefits filed on the new and open claims was down 3.3% to 69,676. That is still a lot of litigation occurring within each claim.
3. The number of state mediations was up by 7% to 19,442. This means less claims are resolving prior to mediation as compared to the last year since the number of PFB’s was down. However 37.41% of all claims either settled or all issues were resolved at mediation, a slight increase.
4. Medical benefits were the most litigated issue, as usual. Followed by TPD.
5. The amount of attorney fees paid to claimant attorneys was essential the same, $240 million, but total defense fees were down by 5%
Here is a link to the entire report, which goes further and breaks it down by venue within the state. Its 318 pages so don’t hit print unless you have a spare ream of paper.
Morgan Indek | Managing Partner