AIA: Calif. Applicant Attorneys are Desperate to Protect Their Wallets

January 20, 2005

While the American Broadcasting Companies Inc. (ABC) is basking in the glow of its new award-winning night-time soap opera Desperate Housewives, the Golden State has its own soap opera developing starring the California Applicant Attorneys’ Association (CAAA), according to the American Insurance Association (AIA).

CAAA is reportedly trying to roll back the major workers’ compensation reforms enacted in 2003 and 2004 by exploiting injured workers in weekly press conferences throughout the state. This orchestrated attack on the cost-saving reforms is said to use misinformation to cast the reforms and insurers as the villains. In reality, CAAA is reportedly dedicated to stopping the reforms because the role of attorneys is being reduced and they are losing income as a result.

“CAAA should change their name to the Desperate Attorneys Association,” said Nicole Mahrt, AIA public affairs director, western region. “This assault has nothing to do with injured workers and everything to do with protecting the money applicant attorneys make on permanent partial disability settlements. Applicant attorneys are trying to restore a corrupt system because they benefit from it. As the subjectivity, confusion, abuse and delays are reduced in the system, the amount of litigation also will be reduced along with the need for attorney involvement,” Mahrt explained.

“The facts don’t add up to the attorneys’ claims. The reforms are making a significant difference in California’s workers’ compensation system. Costs are going down and employers are beginning to see real savings, decisions are being made faster, injured workers are going back to work sooner, and competition is returning to the marketplace. The CAAA should stop trying to stall the forward progress and accept the fact that they no longer control California’s workers’ compensation system,” said Mahrt.

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