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Employer Still Liable Despite Theft of Workers’ Compensation Check: Court

Business Insurance (03/23/12)

In the case of Barrett Business Services Inc. vs. Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, a California appellate court has ruled that even though a company’s $17,000 check was stolen and cashed, the company still must pay the workers’ compensation claimant who never got the check. Rafael Rivas worked for Barrett and injured his back in 2005, but changed addresses numerous times before his claim was settled. Barrett mailed the settlement check to Rivas at an out-of-date address, and a “Rafal Rivas” fraudulently cashed the check. Barrett argued that because it mailed the check to Rivas at an address specified in a compromise and release agreement, it had fulfilled its duties in the matter. However, the court disagreed.