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Anthony Cannizzo Warns Employers to Question "Science" Behind COVID Workers' Compensation Claims

Los Angeles Partner Anthony Cannizzo was recently featured in a Business Insurance article, in which he warned employers about the need to dig deeper into the claims of expert witnesses in COVID-related Workers' Compensation claims. The testimony of expert witnesses can be compelling, sometimes making the difference between a defense verdict and an award of millions in damages for the plaintiff. For this reason, a successful defense must invest time and resources into finding and presenting evidence that challenges an expert's damaging interpretation of events when their testimony is not scientifically certain. 

In the article, Cannizzo points out that in COVID-related cases – where scientific findings about the virus are often preliminary, not well supported and subject to change – not only is an expert's opinion impeachable, but the science underlying their interpretation can often be called into question as well. This is especially important in Workers' Compensation claims where permanent disabilities  present a greater magnitude of financial exposure than temporary injuries. 

In this context, whether a COVID-related injury is one from which a worker can recover and return to work or is one that prevents a worker from resuming their normal employment for a lifetime is both critically important and scientifically uncertain. From the article:

As a workers compensation defense attorney whose clients are primarily in the hospitality industry, Anthony Cannizzo, partner in the Los Angeles office of Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester LLP, said he “fully expects” to see a loss of sense of taste or smell claim come across his desk at some point.
“My advice to my clients is going to be that we really focus on the value of the medical evidence to the extent that there are reliable studies to make sure that these opinions are not predicated on junk science,” he said.

The full article can be read on the Business Insurance website.

Anthony Cannizzo is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Manning & Kass, where he is a member of the Workers’ Compensation Team. For nearly two decades, Mr. Cannizzo has litigated on behalf of prominent domestic and international companies including restaurants, hotels, airlines, manufacturers, movie studios, stadiums and entertainment companies. 

The Manning & Kass Workers’ Compensation Team aggressively defends employers and insurers against questionable or denied workers’ compensation claims. They fight for employers facing allegations of 132a discrimination and/or charges of serious and willful misconduct, while proactively managing costs and maximizing opportunities to close accepted claims. To find out more, contact us

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