Washington Supreme Court Victory for Injured Workers
On December 6, 2018, the Washington State Supreme Court issued its opinion in the matter of Murray v. Department of Labor & Industries. In the unanimous opinion, the Court held that the Health Technology Clinical Committee (HTCC) determinations are just a source that L&I should use in making decisions on what medical treatment will be covered under workers compensation claims. Before this decision, L&I denied certain medical treatments because the HTCC had determined they should not be covered. L&I thought it was bound completely by the HTCC’s decisions. In Mr. Murray’s case, the HTCC had decided that surgery for femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is not a covered treatment. However, the Court disagreed and held that the HTCC’s decisions only carry great weight, but L&I is not completely bound by its decisions. Now, injured workers have a fighting chance of getting previously denied treatments covered under their claims.