Home > Liens > Tommy Jenkins Returns – and Files a Lien

Tommy Jenkins Returns – and Files a Lien

Do you remember Tommy Jenkins?  He was that annoying fifth-grade friend of yours.  He was that kid that was always the center of the world – everyone was just out to get him.  No matter what happened, it was all part of some effort by someone who “hated” him, especially the teacher (she was out to get him, you see).  As you know, Tommy grew up and became a lien representative in California’s workers’ compensation system.

In the case of Paul Allgood v. County of Los Angeles, the lien claimants, represented by Green Lien Collections, filed a petition to have the workers’ compensation Judge disqualified for bias.

At this point, your ever-realistic blogger must point out that everyone has a bias against lien claimants, including WCJs.  After all, lien claimants and WCJs are naturally enemies, just like lien claimants and applicant’s attorney, or lien claimants and defense lawyers, or lien claimants and other lien claimants.  If your garden variety bias served to disqualify WCJs, there would be no WCJs left to adjudicate these cases, and we would have to resort to picking champions and settling things via duels.

Basically, the matter was set for trial, and the WCJ ordered the matter continued and also ordered the doctor performing the services that were the basis of the lien to appear and testify at the continued trial.  The lien claimant petitioned for removal of the order and the order removal was granted.  The parties then returned for trial but the WCJ fell ill, so the trial was continued again.

The lien claimant was not fooled – he knows bias when he sees it!  The so-called “illness” was certainly a clever ploy to prejudice the lien claimant, because everyone knows that WCJs are impervious to injury and, having already waited for the case-in-chief to resolve, any further delay to lien claimant results in total destruction of its interests – lien claimant really needs that “355989” to keep the doors open.  (Apparently the lien is unclear as to whether the amount in question is $355,989.00 or $3,559.89.)

REAL bias is not a couple of continuances, as was the case here – the WCJ fell ill on the day of trial, what are you going to do?  In any case, the lien claimant’s efforts to have the judge disqualified only further delayed the matter by necessitating that the continued trial be cancelled and await resolution of the petition to disqualify.

Lien claimants are already establishing the image of actors pursuing frivolous actions or abusing process to shake down a settlement – now they are setting themselves up as cry-babies as well.  Say hello to Tommy Jenkins for me.

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