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“It is one of the maxims of the civil law, that definitions are hazardous”
— Samuel Johnson

Two Sides of Personality Traits

By Elisse A. Blinder, Ph.D., QME
and Michael C.C. Lilienfeld, Director of Forensic Services

Let's consider two sides of Personality Traits; but ... to apportion or not to apportion? ... that is the question.

The answer is ... it depends; and the reality is that each side may discover that the findings fall in their favor in this regard.


Psyche Injury Claims Post-SB 863: Are They Still Viable?

By Charles R. Rondeau

Last fall, the Legislature enacted Senate Bill 863 (SB 863), yet another major reform of the California workers’ compensation system. Like SB 899, its predecessor in 2004, SB 863 was adopted as a reaction to, and an intended cure for, certain perceived “abuses” which were occurring in the workers’ compensation system. One of these was the prevalence of so-called “add on” allegations of sleep disorders, sexual disorders and psychological/psychiatric disorders to physical injury claims (most commonly orthopedic in nature). Ironically, the primary reason that these secondary consequence claims were being pursued was in response to the drastic decrease in permanent disability compensation for the underlying physical injury claims when SB 899 ushered in the AMA Guides to the California workers’ compensation system. And so the cycle of action and reaction perpetuates itself, as in the famous rabbit-wolf paradigm, with (unfortunately) no end in sight. This article will discuss the impact of SB 863 on psychological/psychiatric disorder claims for work-related specific injuries sustained on or after January 1, 2013 or for cumulative trauma injuries with an ending date on or after January 1, 2013.


Labor Code Section 4662 and PTD

an interview with Susan C. Rose, Ph.D., QME.

Q. What are the specific implications for psychological/psychiatric injury claims of significant recent decisions concerning Labor Code Section 4662?

Dr. Rose, Ph.D. Let me start by extending wishes for a happy new year to you all from the Glaser Forensic Group. So as to contribute to this, I plan to help clarify what has become confusing to many as regards to permanent total disability benefits for psychological/psychiatric injuries since the Legislature passed Senate Bill 863 (SB 863) in fall 2012, which has been applied to all Worker’s Compensation specific and continuous trauma cases ending on or after January 1, 2013.


Chronic Pain and the Brain

by Diana Payne, Ph.D., QME

What is Pain?In 1994, the International Association for the Study of Pain proposed the following definition of pain: “Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage.” Interestingly, this definition, still commonly used today, seemed to foreshadow several recent findings in the field, namely that there is an inherent emotional component to pain, and that pain may not involve actual tissue damage. As we will see, with the benefit of significant advances in brain imaging technology, the recent literature on chronic pain and associated brain changes clearly demonstrates these points.