May 2012 - Issue 3

The California JPIA: Then and Now

Successor Agencies and Oversight Boards

The California JPIA Academy Delivers the (Public) Works to Members

Catherine Sloan, Senior Training Specialist

Summertime, and the Living is Easy...For Now

Supreme Court Decides Filarsky v. Delia

Lexipol Use of Force Policy Update

Division of Workers’ Compensation Launches Website to Aid Injured Workers

Medicare Beneficiaries Delayed in Receiving Reimbursement

Staffing Changes at York Risk Services

California JPIA

News: Worthy

The California JPIA: Then and Now

by Jonathan Shull, CEO

Throughout the 1970s, more and more cities helplessly watched their liability insurance rates spike sharply. City managers reported that they were being charged double the risk rate for their cities’ actual loss-rate records. Recognizing the need to diffuse the strain of larger and larger insurance costs, the California Contract Cities Association (CCCA) began searching for new measures to take.

Prior to the CCCA’s endeavor, a number of other city and county groups had investigated the possibility of creating self-insurance programs; none, though, had come to fruition. The CCCA program was soon well under way. The plan was carried out over two years of work by committees made up of city managers, finance officers, city attorneys, and consultants.

On June 29, 1977, the Southern California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (SCJPIA) officially came into being, with a total of thirty-three cities signing the Joint Powers Agreement. By signing the agreement, those thirty-three cities joined an entity that was one of the first of its kind in the nation. 

In order to foster open discussion among the participating cities’ risk managers, the Authority’s first insurance manager organized an all-day seminar that brought a group of experts together to discuss the expectations for, and the responsibilities of, the risk managers. Risk management audits were also conducted for the original group of member cities.

For more than three decades, the Authority has continued to develop an ever-increasing emphasis on risk management innovation. 

This year the California JPIA will host its 17th Annual Risk Management Educational Forum entitled The Art of Risk Management. Initially an all-day seminar in the early years of the California JPIA, the Risk Management Educational Forum has grown into a three-day event. The Forum will present a range of risk-centric sessions intended to reach all levels of leadership within organizations in ways that successfully transfer the knowledge needed to address critically important issues facing public agencies.

The risk management audits have evolved into the innovative LossCAP program. With a focus on assisting members on risk-related issues and on mitigating claims through the LossCAP strategy, the Authority’s risk consultants act as the primary points of contact to access resources available to members. 

The California JPIA is dedicated to educating and sharing information with members. I encourage members to read The Authority newsletter each month, looking to it as an interactive resource: after reading the information and updates we have to offer, we invite you to share with us any new issues or topics you would like to be covered in the future. As with the city managers, finance officers, city attorneys, and consultants who worked to create the California JPIA in the 70s, it is through the active participation and guidance of the members that the California JPIA continues to be one of the most distinguished risk-sharing pools in the state. 


News: Worthy

Successor Agencies and Oversight Boards

by Bob May, Senior Risk Consultant

Many Members are asking if the Memorandum of Liability Coverage (MOLC) covers Successor Agencies and Oversight Boards as well as the member’s representatives appointed to those entities.

Under the Authority’s MOLC, the city acting as the Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency (RDA) continues to have the same coverage that the city and the RDA had prior to the RDA’s dissolution.

As to the Oversight Board, they are created by the statute and it is not clear from the statute if an Oversight Board is to be considered a state agency or a county agency, or is in some undefined area, "neither fish nor fowl." The city does not control it; in fact the statute confirms that the city does not have controlling interest. 

Public officials, employees and volunteers of the city acting as the city’s representative on an outside board are "Protected Parties" under the California JPIA’s Memorandum of Liability Coverage, because they are acting for or on behalf of the city. However, the entity itself (the Oversight Board) is not a protected party as it is not a Member signatory to the California JPIA’s joint powers agreement, and does not pay deposit contributions. 

The California JPIA gave some consideration as to whether Oversight Boards should be endorsed onto the coverage for all Member cities that became Successor Agencies, but there are some issues with this. For one, the Authority would be covering actions of a Board dominated by appointees from other agencies. Second, the most likely plaintiff in a suit against the Oversight Board might be the city itself, over a legal dispute about a decision by the Board regarding winding up the RDA. The MOLC has a "Member vs. Member" exclusion and does not cover suits between Members. Finally, since the Oversight Board does not actually employ persons or own property, its main exposure would be to suits over the propriety of legal decisions made by the Board, which is normally considered an uninsurable exposure. 

All of this may be more information than you are looking for -- the main point is that if the city appoints a representative, the Authority’s coverage follows that representative, including errors and omissions coverage. The city itself, of course, is always a Protected Party. 

Following is part of the "Protected Party" definition from the MOLC:

Protected Party means:
A. The Member named on the Cover Page;
B. Persons who are, or were, elected or appointed officials or Employees of the Member, whether or not compensated, while acting within the scope of their duties or employment as such, including while acting on outside committees, commissions, or boards at the direction of the Member, except that the protection so provided does not apply to Bodily Injury to another official or employee of the Member in the course of and arising out of his or her duties to or employment by the same Member;
***** 
No person or entity is a Protected Party with respect to the conduct of any current or past partnership, joint venture or joint powers authority (including any separate entity created pursuant to a joint powers agreement). However, for any person who is an official or Employee of a Member, who participates in the activities of a partnership, joint venture, or joint powers authority and is acting for or on behalf of theMember at the time of the Occurrence, protection is afforded by this Memorandum. Such coverage shall be in excess of, and shall not contribute with, any collectible insurance, self-insurance or other coverage provided to the other joint powers authority, agency or entity.

The definition of "Employee" includes citizen volunteers: 

Employee includes any person falling within the definition of "employee" under section 810.2 of the Government Code. That section provides: "Employee includes an officer...employee, or servant, whether or not compensated, but does not include an independent contractor." Employee also includes any volunteer designated by the Member to perform specific functions in the course and scope of authorized activities under the direction and control of the Member.

In summary: 1) The city has coverage as it acts as the Successor Agency, 2) city officials, employees, and appointed volunteers, have coverage (excess to any other coverage available) as they represent the city on the Oversight Board, 3) the Oversight Board does not have coverage under the Authority’s Memorandum of Liability Coverage.

Coverage for the Oversight Board is available through the SLIP program offered by Alliant Insurance Services (the Authority’s broker for Property, Special Events, Crime, etc.). The contact person there is John Peterson, and he can be reached at jpeterson@alliantinsurance.com and 949-660-5907.

Contact your agency’s assigned risk consultant to answer any questions that you may have about Successor Agencies and Oversight Boards. 


News: Worthy

The California JPIA Academy Delivers the (Public) Works to Members

by Catherine Sloan, Senior Training Specialist

The California JPIA Public Works Academy is set to take place beginning Tuesday, June 5, 2012 in San Luis Obispo. The specialized academy, geared for newly promoted public works supervisors and managers as well as those interested in rising through the public works ranks in the future, emphasizes both effective supervision and risk management skills, while presenting strategies to successfully transition from one role to another whether it be employee to supervisor, worker to manager, or group member to team leader.

Attendees will learn and practice the necessary skills and techniques to efficiently and effectively execute their varied responsibilities. What’s new is an unprecedented three-day format for the Academy which includes two tracks for the participants to choose from. Both tracks are completed in one to one-and-a-half days and are composed of three four-hour seminars.

The move away from the Academy’s traditional three half-day seminars occurring over successive weeks to the new format is designed to minimize expenses as well as the participants’ time away from the office. The California JPIA rotates the locations of each Academy, making them more accessible to members located throughout the state.

The topics covered in the Academy are divided into three seminars including: Liability, Litigation, and Risk Management which reinforces the importance of documentation and record retention and explores what litigation is and why it is so important. Attorney Scott Grossberg will present this session. Scott is a founding partner in the respected law firm Cihigoyenetche, Grossberg & Clouse.

The following seminars: So Now You’re A Supervisor: Part I and Part 2 are facilitated by Dr. Steven Albrecht, who is known internationally for his work in behavior and performance issues, workplace security, and the prevention of workplace violence.

So Now You’re A Supervisor: Part I teaches attendees a proven interactive management style that creates optimum results and the "two decision-making model" as well as includes hands-on role play scenarios relating to personality problems and issues in the workplace. It also defines the supervisor’s role as a coach, explains methods of delegation, and shares strategies to motivate employees in maximizing their value.

So Now You’re A Supervisor: Part II covers the importance of conducting performance evaluations, progressive discipline, strategies to communicate more effectively and efficiently as well as how to apply realistic time management.

The third topic, Contracts Administration will concentrate on contractual risk transfer and its importance, strategies for avoiding risk assumption, and understanding appropriate coverage’s, limits, and indemnifications needed for projects.

Presented by Bob May, Senior Risk Consultant with the California JPIA, participants will learn how to identify exposures, require proper insurance limits, and adequately enforce contracts. Bob will review the California JPIA’s Contracts Manual and discuss strategies to protect agencies against financial loss through contracts.

Registration is free of charge for members. For further information please contact Michelle Aguayo, Training Assistant, at (562) 467-8777 or visit www.cjpia.org.


Catherine Sloan

Pro: Files

Catherine Sloan, Senior Training Specialist

For close to eight years, Catherine Sloan has worked at the California JPIA. An integral member of the Training Department team, Sloan has worked tirelessly to grow the division and cement its position as a leading educational resource for members and others interested in risk management. 

And grow it has.

What was one Academy per year when Sloan started with the California JPIA is now four to five academies as well as a comprehensive and highly-regarded annual Risk Management Educational Forum. Sloan has also recently been named Chair of the Education Committee for the California JPIA’s 2012 Risk Management Educational Forum entitled The Art of Risk Management that will take place November 7-9, 2012 in San Francisco.

"Working at the California JPIA is always stimulating," said Sloan, whose prior experience as a teacher and meeting planner are put to good use as a Senior Training Specialist. "It keeps me current on what is happening in the various areas of risk management." From researching and developing content to strategizing with trainers and organizing the event, Sloan remains hands-on in all aspects of the Authority’s training program. 

"I enjoy working closely with the instructors as well as meeting the members," said Sloan who attends the academies and training workshops on behalf of the California JPIA. "It’s nice to catch-up with members in person at the workshops. It is also an excellent opportunity to hear their input and ideas about past, present, and future academies." 

Sloan also monitors the California JPIA Resource Center which is always available to members and includes a catalog of training opportunities, online registration for upcoming workshops, publications, template policies, regulatory information, certification tracking, and compliance reporting. 

The mother of two grown children and busy grandmother also enjoys reading and gardening as well as staying fit by working out and Zumba - which is a good thing because she exerts lots of energy on her other favorite pastime...traveling. Her most recent trip, Barcelona! 


Legal Matters

Summertime, and the Living is Easy...For Now

by California JPIA Defense Panel Attorney Michael Nebenzahl and Kelly Kiseskey, Law Offices of Michael R. Nebenzahl

Ah, summertime. The grass in the city parks is green, families are picnicking, there are children playing in the sandbox and enjoying a birthday celebration in the bounce-house, a trio of city-league Pee-Wee soccer games are in heated progress on the playing fields, and one of the city’s parks and recreation maintenance employees surveying this idyllic scene is a registered sex offender. 

If he molests a child in the city’s park, is the city liable?

As of this moment, no, but a new case recently decided by the California Supreme Court and applicable to public-entity school districts portends the future of broader public entity liability.

Under Govt. Code §815.2(a), A public entity is liable for injury proximately caused by an act or omission of an employee of the public entity within the scope of his employment if the act or omission would, apart from this section, have given rise to a cause of action against that employee or his personal representative.

Clearly, an act of child molestation is not within the course and scope of a guidance counselor’s employment with the school district. That is unchanged, and the district is not liable to the plaintiff for the guidance counselor’s act of molestation

In C.A. v. William S. Hart Union High School District, et al, (2012) DJDAR 3131 ("Hart"), C.A., a minor, sued his public high school guidance counselor and the school district for damages arising out of his sexual harassment and abuse by the counselor. The matter went up to the California Supreme Court, which was asked to decide whether the district could be found vicariously liable for the acts of its other employees, not for the acts of the guidance counselor.

The California Supreme Court held that the district can be vicariously liable under the theory of respondeat superior to an injured plaintiff for the negligence of its other employees, such as administrative or supervisory personnel, who were responsible for the hiring, supervising, training and retention of the guidance counselor. 

What does this mean?

Before the Hart ruling, unless there was a specific statute under which tort liability could attach, public entities, such as the district could not be held liable [Govt. Code §815]1. But that is now changed. InHart, the district argued that its employees owed the plaintiff no statutory duty of protection against abuse by another employee; that the responsibility for hiring, supervising and dismissing employees belonged exclusively to the district itself, and no statute provided for direct liability in that regard. Plaintiff countered, contending that the special relationship between public school personnel and students imposed upon the district’s administrative and supervisory employees a duty of care to protect the district’s students against foreseeable dangers-including those from other school employees.

The district argued against this notion, maintaining that its administrative and supervisory personnel oversaw the "overall functioning of the school" and did not have a special relationship with any one particular student. The California Supreme Court ultimately disagreed with the district, finding that such "special relationship" existed, and that if the guidance counselor’s predatory history was known or knowable to the district’s other employees, the district could be vicariously liable under Govt. Code §815.2, to the plaintiff for its employees’ own negligence in hiring, retaining, and in not properly supervising the guidance counselor.

Presently, school districts are the only public entities affected by the Hart decision, in large part due to the "special relationship" between a school district and its students. However, it is not a great stretch to envision its application to city parks and recreation in the near future. After all, a city invites the public, and specifically children, to use its parks, pools, and other recreational facilities, it uses taxpayer funds to maintain the grounds, and it staffs city-sponsored sports programs. Individually and collectively, these activities create a foreseeably analogous de facto "special relationship" between a city and the children who use its park. 

If broader-based liability is the wave of the future, how can you, as a city, protect yourself now?

  • Thorough and periodic screening: It is not enough to take a job applicant’s references at face value or to screen them just a single time, before they are offered employment with the city. Especially in positions where city employees have access to children on a regular basis (e.g., preschool programs, athletic programs, coaching, parks and recreation, maintenance), periodic public employee background checks should be performed.
  • Training/Review: Public employees must be properly and thoroughly trained as to what are appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, how to properly observe, document, and report such behaviors. So many times, after the fact of an inappropriate act, people come forward to say that something just didn’t "seem" right with a particular employee’s behavior. Proper training and review sets expectations, can improve vigilance and ultimately, safety.
  • Supervision: Employees, especially when busy, have a tendency to go through their workday with blinders on, unaware and indifferent to the goings-on around them. This creates a fertile ground for potential public entity liability, especially where children are concerned. Supervisors must be aware of their subordinates’ patterns of behavior-the park maintenance employee may have perfect attendance but he always seems to empty the trash bins at the playing fields when the girls’ soccer team is practicing; a coach is keeping (undocumented) extra hours "helping" a particular child. Where there are loopholes in supervision, there is the opportunity for abuse.

Today, the Hart decision and its expansion of vicarious public entity liability predicated on a finding of a "special relationship" is confined to school districts. Tomorrow, we may not be so lucky, but with appropriate measures in place, we can be ready.

If you have questions about the Court’s ruling or how to best manage this risk, please contact your agency’s assigned risk consultant

1Govt. Code §815 states: "Except as otherwise provided by statute: (a) A public entity is not liable for an injury, whether such injury arises out of an act or omission of the public entity or a public employee or any other person."

2The special relationship arises out of the compulsory and mandatory nature of school attendance and the comprehensive control over students exercised by school personnel (see, Hoff v. Vacaville Unified High School Dist. (1998) 19 Cal.4th 925, at p. 935). 


The Court Report

Supreme Court Decides Filarsky v. Delia

Steve Filarsky is the Authority’s employment counsel and is of counsel to many other Authority member agencies.

City’s Outside Counsel Entitled to Immunity-High Court (Reprinted from the Metropolitan News-Enterprise) 

April 18, 2012

A private attorney hired by a local government to conduct an investigation into possible employee misconduct may claim qualified immunity, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled April 17, 2012. 

In a unanimous decision, the court reversed a Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that allowed a Rialto firefighter to sue a Manhattan Beach attorney for what the plaintiff alleged was an unconstitutional search of the plaintiff’s home. 

The Ninth Circuit panel held that fire department officials who conducted the search-which was prompted by suspicion that the firefighter had purchased building materials as part of a plan to renovate his home while on extended sick leave-were protected because they did not have notice that their conduct violated the Fourth Amendment. But they denied immunity to attorney Steve Filarsky because he was not a government employee.

The firefighter, Nicholas Delia, was diagnosed with an ulceration of the esophagus in 2006 and received a series of off-duty work orders from his doctor. Although his doctor did not place any activity restrictions on him, the city began a formal internal affairs investigation to determine whether Delia was off-work on false pretenses after he was seen buying several rolls of fiberglass building insulation at a home improvement store.

The city retained Filarsky to conduct an administrative interview of Delia as part of the investigation. At the onset of the interview, Filarsky warned Delia that he was obligated to cooperate or he could face disciplinary action, including termination.

During the interview, Delia admitted to purchasing rolls of insulation but denied installing them. When Delia declined to allow department officials to enter his home to confirm his statement, or to produce them outside of his home for the officials’ inspection, Filarsky presented him with a written order to do so, signed by the fire chief, and concluded the interview.

Immediately thereafter, two department officials followed Delia, in a city vehicle, to his home. They remained seated in their vehicle at the curb in front of Delia’s house while the rolls were brought out to the lawn, and then thanked Delia and left.

Delia later filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against the city, various fire officials and Filarsky claiming he had been subjected to an unconstitutional warrantless search. The defendants moved for summary judgment and U.S. District Judge Manuel L. Real of the Central District of California granted their motion.

While the Ninth Circuit panel disagreed, citing circuit precedent declining to extend protection to private parties in § 1983 cases, Roberts said the district judge was correct. He explained that "an individual hired by the government to do its work" had the same immunity as a public employee at common law at the time § 1983 was enacted, and that immunity has not been abrogated by Congress. 

Filarsky drew support from a number of amici, including the American Bar Association, and the California League of Cities and California State Association of Counties. 

Kent Bullard of Greines, Martin, Stein & Richland, who authored the amicus brief for the two California groups, said in a statement:

"Amid massive budget cuts, cities and counties are struggling to contain costs and many must depend on private attorneys to perform functions that otherwise would be conducted by government employees. If these attorneys are not afforded the qualified immunity that protects their government counterparts from lawsuits, cities and counties will suffer the consequences. Private attorneys will be more expensive and less effective because they will have to raise their rates substantially to cover the increased cost of insurance - an outcome that defeats the economic and other advantages of working with outside counsel."

The case is Filarsky v. Delia, 10-1018

If you have questions about the Court’s ruling or how to best manage this risk, please contact your agency’s assigned risk consultant


Risk Management Solutions

Lexipol Use of Force Policy Update

by Jim Gross, Senior Risk Consultant

California JPIA members with police departments are aware of the strategic business alliance that was formed with Lexipol in January 2009, whereby the California JPIA pays Lexipol directly for the cost of a member’s participation in the Law Enforcement Policy Manual Update and Daily Training Bulletin subscriptions. Three years into the program Authority staff continues to evaluate the effectiveness of the program on the defense of liability claims associated with law enforcement operations, as well as each member’s effectiveness in their respective participation.

Lexipol recently released and notified participating agencies of the urgent need to update their use of force policies and provided the policy update for adoption. It is imperative that participating member agencies perform these updates once released.

Recent enhancements to the Use of Force Policy include:

  • A review of practices regarding the use of various weapons, tools and tactics, including recent information released from various sources, such as the Police Executive Research Forum’s 2011 Electronic Control Weapon Guidelines.
  • Consistency in the definitions and language regarding force.
  • References to use of force (non-deadly force, less-lethal force and physical force) are now all referred to as "use of force."
  • State-specific statutes related to force have been removed, unless they provide greater restrictions or guidance than the U.S. Constitution. If state statutes are more restrictive, that guidance is included. In most cases, the U.S. Constitution provides the greatest protection and states may not, by statute, reduce those protections. Any statute providing lesser protection is not included.
  • Language that generally requires deadly force justification for use of the carotid hold has been amended, permitting greater use of this technique with proper training.
  • Language that eliminates the use of pain compliance techniques on passive resisters has been amended.
  • Additional guidance regarding shooting at moving vehicles is provided.
  • Guidance regarding the use of spit hoods has been added. Spit hoods, leg restraints, and handcuffing are combined into one restraint policy.
  • The deadly force portions of the Shooting Policy are now part of the Use of Force Policy to avoid duplication and confusion. The remaining pertinent portions of the Shooting Policy that were not related to the use of force are now included in the Firearms Policy.
  • Language that generally requires the removal from line-duty assignments of law enforcement officers involved in deadly force incidents, unless the agency head authorizes otherwise, has been added. The intent of this change is to standardize your agency’s actions subsequent to the use of deadly force in order to demonstrate impartiality while the investigative process is underway.
  • A new recommendation has been made that a Use of Force Review Board be comprised of five members and that any recommended findings of the board be reached by a majority vote. Lexipol’s best practice recommendation is that there should be sufficient experience and diversity among the board to reach well-founded conclusions.
  • Outdated language regarding the use of kinetic energy projectiles and devices is being eliminated, recognizing that not just supervisors and SWAT members are carrying these devices but other properly trained members are as well.

To assist participating agencies, Lexipol provided detailed descriptions of the changes to each policy in the Release Notes that accompanied the update.

Each member participant should have finalized and internally published their updated policy manuals within the first year of participation in the program. Members that have not published their policy manuals by the time of their 2012 renewal are subject to elimination from the program. Additionally, policy updates are made available twice a year as well as periodic urgent updates of specific policies when the circumstances warrant more timely updates. 

Agencies are eligible to participate in the Daily Training Bulletin (DTB) subscription once they first publish their policy manual. The DTBs are a critical element to the effective defense of liability claims arising from law enforcement operations. In order to remain eligible for participation in the DTB subscription program at the Authority’s expense your agency must ensure that the DTBs are being incorporated into your agency’s operations. 

Contact your agency’s assigned risk consultant to answer any questions you may have about the Lexipol program. 


Risk Management Solutions

Division of Workers’ Compensation Launches Website to Aid Injured Workers

by Diana Rich, Workers’ Compensation Program Manager

Rosa Moran, Administrative Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) announced the launch of a new website to guide injured workers through the administrative claims resolution process. 

The online resource was created because workers who are hurt "need accurate information and assistance, and they need it quickly." She said that "(t)oo often injured workers are unaware of their rights or how to proceed with their claim," and the website can "take them through the entire process in clear and precise language." 

Users can also find information about benefits and procedures, answers to frequently asked questions, as well as online versions of forms available at the DWC offices. The new website is only available in English, but a Spanish version is in the works, according to the DWC release. 

Users are able to complete a survey about the new resource, to help DWC to continually improve the content and design of the website to ensure its effectiveness. The survey appears automatically in a pop-up window on the Department of Industrial Relation’s website, and can also be accessed by clicking here.




Risk Management Solutions

Medicare Beneficiaries Delayed in Receiving Reimbursement

by Diana Rich, Workers’ Compensation Program Manager

The Medicare Secondary Payer Statue (MSP) was created by the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1980 and was subsequently enacted by Congress in 1981. MSP’s primary intent is to reduce spending, prevent cost-shifting and preserve the fiscal integrity of the Medicare system. 

Then came Section 111 of the Medicare, Medicaid & SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 adding new electronic reporting requirements. Section 111 is to ensure the proper coordination of benefits between Medicare and primary payers. 

All private and public self-insured employers or agencies, as well as commercial insurers are required to register with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as a Responsible Reporting Entity (RRE) per Section 111. California JPIA, as the RRE, relies on York for data collection and reporting to Medicare.

Medicare will always be the secondary payer under certain conditions and has the authority to recover payments from rightful primary payers if Medicare pays for a service that should have been covered by the primary payer, such as a workers’ compensation program. CMS Mandatory Reporting Requirements are triggered:

  • When there has been a settlement, judgment, award or other payment made to a Medicare Beneficiary, or
  • When there is the assumption of ongoing responsibility for medical costs to a Medicare Beneficiary, or
  • When the Responsible Reporting Entity (in this case, California JPIA) is an entity that contractually or legally assumes the risk for the accident or injury

In February the Authority learned that some members’ retired employees were being denied coverage for non-workers’ compensation treatment because of the manner in which mandatory data reporting is received and processed by Medicare (CMS).

In response, York has implemented procedures to correct Medicare’s data where applicable and allow Medicare to pay benefits to Medicare beneficiaries. If you become aware of an employee (current or former) who is experiencing difficulty with Medicare coverage in connection with a claim administered by York, please direct the employee to your agency’s assigned claims examiner for assistance. 

Click here for contact information for your agency’s assigned claims examiner. 


Risk Management Solutions

Staffing Changes at York Risk Services

by Diana Rich, Workers’ Compensation Program Manager

Avo Deukmejian, Assistant Vice President of Claims with York Risk Services, is pleased to announce the addition of Brad Schermer to the California JPIA claims team. Brad is joining De Ann Wagner as a Unit Manager. Brad brings over 20 years industry experience including focused attention with municipalities and special districts. Over the next few weeks, York will be transitioning Brad to his full assignments. 

Additionally, York completed the replacement and transition plan for the Medical Only Examiner position vacated with the promotion of Sally Varela to the Future Medical desk. Abel Sepulveda joined York in April as its Medical Only Examiner and Early Return-to-Work Coordinator. He will report to De Ann Wagner.

Please click here for a complete listing of assigned York examiners and contact information.