California Court of Appeals, Third District, Butte
ORIGINAL PROCEEDING: Petition for writ of review. Petition
annulled. Sharyn Lynne Sala, Judge. W.C.A.B. Nos.
Bradford & Barthel and Louis A. Larres for Petitioner
Meadowbrook Insurance Company.
Offices of John D. Moloney and John D. Moloney for Respondent
appearance for Respondent Workers' Compensation Appeals
appearance for Respondents Miguel Velazquez and Servando
Meadowbrook Insurance Company (Meadowbrook), administrator
for Star Insurance Company, petitioned for writ of review of
the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board's (WCAB)
decision on reconsideration that liens held by DFS
Interpreting (DFS) against Meadowbrook regarding unpaid
invoices for interpreter services DFS provided to
Meadowbrook's insureds were not foreclosed by DFS's
failure to follow procedural rules.
issued the writ, and we now hold that DFS's failure to
comply with required procedures resulted in DFS's bills
being deemed satisfied. This result means Meadowbrook is not
liable for further payment. Accordingly, we annul the
WCAB's decision to the contrary and remand for further
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
separate incidents, Miguel Velazquez and Servando Velazquez
(claimants) suffered injuries within the scope of their
employment, and each required Spanish language interpreting
services in connection with their medical care. Meadowbrook
was the workers' compensation carrier for the
claimants' employers and accepted both claims and
which provided interpreter services to each claimant, timely
submitted invoices to Meadowbrook for the services provided.
Meadowbrook issued explanations of review pursuant to Labor
Code section 4603.3,  explaining that it refused to pay the
invoices DFS submitted. DFS objected to those explanations of
review, but did not request a second review pursuant to
section 4603.2, subdivision (e) or California Code of
Regulations, title 8, section 9792.5.5.
underlying case resolved as to all issues but for DFS's
liens, and the cases were consolidated to determine whether
DFS properly contested Meadowbrook's explanations of
review in accordance with the relevant statutes and
regulations, and, if not, whether the WCAB had jurisdiction
to award further payment to DFS. The parties stipulated that
the interpreters were necessary at all medical treatment
appointments, DFS timely submitted the invoices, Meadowbrook
timely issued the explanations of review, and DFS objected to
the explanations of review but did not request a second
conclusion of trial, the workers' compensation judge
(WCJ) issued her findings and award and order in favor of
DFS. The WCJ found that DFS's liens were not barred by
its failure to request a second review because the
administrative director (AD) had not adopted a fee schedule
pursuant to section 4600, subdivision (g).
filed a petition for reconsideration. It argued that the WCAB
lacked jurisdiction to resolve the billing dispute because
there was indeed a valid fee schedule in existence as
required by the definition of “amount of payment”
in Title 8, section 9792.5.4.
WCAB denied the reconsideration petition. It reasoned that
the AD had not specifically adopted a fee schedule for
interpreters after the Legislature enacted Senate Bill No.
863 (2011-2012 Reg. Sess.), chaptered as Statutes 2012,
chapter 363 (Sen. Bill No. 863). Thus, there was not an
applicable fee schedule and DFS was not required to submit a
request for second review under section 4603.2, subdivision
(e) or Title 8, section 9792.5.5.
filed a petition for writ of review, which we issued.