The most significant trend and development in workmen's compensation law in the past year has been the activity of the appellate courts in annulling and reversing the decisions of the Workmen's Compensation Appeals Board. With the Labor Code's severe limitations on the scope of judicial review of WCAB decisions, particularly on the right of the courts to review factual determinations, and with most of the WCAB cases containing factual rather than legal questions, the majority of petitions for writ of review have been and still are being denied.
Another major trend of the past year has been the dramatic reduction in the amount of litigation of workmen's compensation claims. In attempting a prediction of whether the reduction in the number of claims will continue through future years, California lawyers may consider the two new programs introduced by the WCAB, which are discussed below.
Other developments in specific areas of workmen's compensation law are set forth in the latter portion of the article.