Wednesday, February 27, 2002
Workers’ Compensation Records Show:
Court Candidate Donald Renetzky Found 100 Percent Disabled
By KIMBERLY EDDS, Staff Writer
Workers’ Compensation Administrative Law Judge Donald Renetzky, a candidate for a seat on the Los Angeles Superior Court, has been found to be 100 percent disabled in a workers’ compensation determination, the MetNews learned yesterday.
Since becoming an administrative law judge in June 1994, Renetzky has filed a total of eight claims with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board maintaining that he suffered injuries while on the job.
An Aug. 16, 2001 order signed by Administrative Law Judge Charles A. Regnell states that the Renetzky and the State Compensation Insurance Fund entered into a stipulation that rated Renetzky 100 percent permanently disabled, and based on that rating, awarded him $490 a week for life.
“Based on stipulation between the parties and for good cause, it is ordered...that the defendant shall pay personal disability based on 100% ratings, at the rate of $490 per week retroactively to 7/28/00 and thereafter, less credit for PDA’s made since then, and less 15% fees out of the net lump sum only to Attorney Kenneth H. Rowen,” Regnell wrote.
The order also states “that defendant shall assume all liability for all treatment for diabetes, without stipulating to diabetes as an injury.”
The file is considered open and inactive, without compliance with the final portion of the order—“that the insurer prepare and submit the final injury and [permanent disability] stipulations within 30 days…reserving only adjustment issues of bills” and that discovery be closed.
The order is handwritten.
The $490-a-week-for-life is the maximum amount a person who receives a 100 percent permanent disability rating can receive through the Workers’ Compensation system.
The payment is retroactive to the date when a doctor finds an injured worker “permanent and stationary,” the point at which the patient’s condition is not going to improve any more from treatment.
The case was taken off calendar in November 2001.
According to court papers, Renetzky claims that his injuries include cumulative trauma to his right hand, wrist and arm, left leg and both feet. He also maintains that he suffered injury to both knees, left foot and left leg when he fell in his courtroom in December 1999 and that he twisted his left foot in 1998.
Court documents also show that Renetzky is claiming he fractured his femur when he tripped in 1996.
Last August, Renetzky was awarded $10,000 for a spine injury he sustained from 1993-1994 while he was a sole practitioner representing injured workers.
Renetzky said yesterday that he was not aware that he had been rated 100 percent disabled, and added that he had not appeared in court in the case. He referred further questions on the cases to his lawyer, Kenneth Rowen.
Rowen is on vacation and was not available for comment.
Renetzky is running against Deputy District Attorney Hank Goldberg and eldercare attorney Joseph “Joe” Deering for Los Angeles Superior Court Office 2.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company