The new "Rocket Docket" regulations proposed by the New York Workers' Compensation Board are being attacked by formal comments submitted by a diverse group of stakeholders across New York State. Gov. Patterson's office has received a rash of phone calls and letters objecting to these well intentioned, but ill advised, regulations. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, is left of these proposed regulations after the formal comment period ends on September 15th and the Governor's Office reviews all comments. The final version may look much different than the original version proposed by the NY Workers' Compensation Board.
Below are just a few of the formal comments criticizing the Rocket Docket proposals. First are the formal comments of the New York Workers' Compensation Alliance authored by Co-Chair John Sciortino of Rochester and supported by the New York Injured Workers' Bar Association (IWBA)President Barbara Levine of Long Island. Second are objections from the Medical Society of the State of New York authored by Philip Fontanetta, MD and Robert Goldberg, MD. Third are the objections of the Erie County Bar Association authored by Giles P. Manius, President of the Erie County Bar. Fourth are objections from Louis M. Dauerer of Poughkeepsie, Past President of the NY Injured Workers' Bar Association. Fifth are objections from Michael P. Daly, Esq., of Syracuse, the former partner of the Hon. Edward I. Pitts, author of the New York Workers' Compensation Handbook and past President of the NY Injured Workers' Bar Association (IWBA). Finally are objections of Peter Hill, Esq. of Oneonta, a solo practitioner whose clients would be adversely impacted by these proposed regulations.
We are not aware of any stakeholders who appear at the Workers' Compensation Board, including employers and insurance carriers, who support the current proposed regulations in their entirety. Privately, workers' compensation law judges, who will be charged with implementing these regulations, admit that these regulations are counter-productive and will increase litigation and delay the timely resolution of claims.
We are hopeful that Governor Patterson and his staff will take a close look at all of these objections prior to implementing any of these regulations. This is the WCA - Protecting the Rights of Injured Workers!