Today, we’re continuing our review of the Supreme Court’s workers comp cases, turning our attention to the cases decided between 1998 and 2005.
In all, the Court decided exactly the same number of cases 1998-2005 that it had 1990-1997: fourteen. The Court decided three cases in 1998, one in 1999, two in 2000, six in 2001, none in 2002, one in 2003, zero in 2004 and one case in 2005.
Between 1990 and 2005, the Court decided fourteen plaintiffs’ wins from the Court of Appeal, fourteen defendants’ wins. The 1998-2005 spread was six plaintiffs’ wins, eight defendants’ wins.
Defendants who won at the Court of Appeal did fairly well at the Supreme Court, winning six while losing four.
Plaintiffs who won at the Court of Appeal, on the other hand, won only once as compared to three losses.
Overall, disregarding who won at the Court of Appeal, defendants in workers comp cases won nine and lost five at the Supreme Court between 1998 and 2005.
Once again, procedural issues dominated – the Court decided seven cases mainly involving procedural issues, three which related to the powers and structure of the Workers Compensation Commission, and two each involving workers comp exclusivity and compensability issues.
Turning to the Justices’ voting records, during these years Justice Brown cast eleven votes for workers comp defendants. Justices Chin and Baxter cast nine votes apiece, Justice Kennard cast eight votes, Justice Werdegar cast seven, Chief Justice George cast six, Justice Mosk cast five votes and Justice Moreno cast two votes.
Justice Werdegar led with eight votes against workers compensation defendants. Chief Justice George and Justice Kennard were next with six votes apiece. Justices Mosk, Baxter and Chin cast five votes apiece. Justice Brown cast three votes and Justice Moreno had none.
Join us back here next week as we finish our analysis.