Williams v. Home Depot
Filed 10/2/13 Williams v. Home Depot CA3
NOT TO BE PUBLISHED
Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or
relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except
as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This
opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for
purposes of rule 8.1115.
IN THE COURT OF
APPEAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
APRIL PREMO WILLIAMS,
Plaintiff and Appellant,
THE HOME DEPOT,
Defendant and Respondent.
(Super. Ct. No. 39201100269248CUCRSTK)
April Premo Williams, representing
herself, informed the trial court that she is an individual with a href="http://www.sandiegohealthdirectory.com/">mental disability and asked
the trial court to â€œremoveâ€ her pending Workersâ€™ Compensation Appeals Board
(WCAB) matter to the superior court and to stay the matter until Williams can
appeal to the href="http://www.adrservices.org/neutrals/frederick-mandabach.php">United
States Supreme Court or the California Supreme Court to determine her href="http://www.fearnotlaw.com/">due process rights. The trial court characterized the request as a
motion and denied it, concluding that it lacked jurisdiction over the
We will affirm the order.
The record on appeal is quite
limited, but we will summarize the factual assertions made in the request for
Williams was employed by The Home
Depot. In 2003, she was injured on the
job. Williams claimed workersâ€™
compensation benefits and in December 2005, the parties signed a â€œStipulation
and Award and/or Orderâ€ by which The Home Depot agreed to provide â€œbenefits and
treatment [to Williams] in accordance with the opinions of the AME, Dr.
Abeliuk.â€ Thereafter, Williams received
medical treatment, including surgeries.
Williams disagrees that her
condition is permanent and stationary, and claims she was â€œforcedâ€ to settle her
claim. She made several appeals to the
WCAB but the case has not resolved.
In her instant request for removal,
Williams claimed the WCAB failed to require that she receive prompt and
adequate medical treatment. She also
claimed the WCAB allowed The Home Depot to hold her in involuntary
servitude. Williams asserted that
removal of her pending workersâ€™ compensation matter to the superior court was
necessary because she is mentally disabled, her requests to the Department of
Industrial Relations for reasonable accommodation under the Americans with
Disabilities Act were not granted, and hence her due process and civil rights
have been violated.
Following a hearing, the trial court
denied the request for removal, concluding that it has no jurisdiction over the
The trial court correctly ruled that
it lacked jurisdiction to remove the workersâ€™ compensation matter to the
The California Workersâ€™ Compensation
Act (the Act) provides an elaborate and complete scheme for the adjudication of
claims by employees against employers for injuries â€œarising out of and in the
course ofâ€ their employment. (Lab. Code,
§ 3600;href="#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1"
title=""> see Santiago
v. Employee Benefits Services (1985) 168 Cal.App.3d 898, 901.) â€œ â€˜Proceedings which in any manner
concern the recovery of compensation, or any right or liability â€œarising out of
or incidental theretoâ€ are to be instituted solely before the Appeals
Board. (§ 5300, subd. (a).)â€™ â€ (Greener
v. Workersâ€™ Comp. Appeals Bd. (1993) 6 Cal.4th 1028, 1038-1039, citing
Santiago v. Employee Benefits Services,
supra, 168 Cal.App.3d at p. 901.)
All of the issues Williams raised in her request for removal involved
matters arising out of or incidental to her workersâ€™ compensation claims,
including WCABâ€™s resolution of those claims.
The trial court lacks jurisdiction
over such matters. Section 5955
provides, â€œNo court of this state, except the Supreme Court and the courts of
appeal to the extent herein specified, has jurisdiction to review, reverse,
correct, or annul any order, rule, decision, or award of the [WCAB], or to
suspend or delay the operation or execution thereof, or to restrain, enjoin, or
interfere with the appeals board in the performance of its duties,â€ and gives
the appellate courts the power to issue a writ of mandate â€œin all proper
cases.â€ As the California Supreme Court
explained more than 50 years ago, â€œ[a]n examination of the legislative history
of [Labor Code] section 5955 . . . clearly shows that [the statute]
means that superior courts have no jurisdiction to review or otherwise
interfere with the operation of any order of the Industrial Accident
title=""> (>Loustalot v. Superior Court (1947)
30 Cal.2d 905, 910.) â€œIn
restricting any interference with the commissionâ€™s decisions or orders to
proceedings in the appellate courts, the Legislature has carried out the
declared policy of the constitutional provision that the commission be
unencumbered by any but proceedings in the appellate courts.â€ (Id.
at pp. 912â€“913; see also Abraham v.
Workersâ€™ Comp. Appeals Bd., supra, 113 Cal.App.4th at p. 1088 and
cases cited therein.)
The only method by which a decision
or process of the WCAB may be attacked is by an application to the Court of
Appeal for a writ of review. (2 Witkin,
Summary of Cal. Law (10th ed. 2005) Workersâ€™ Compensation, § 434 et seq.,
pp. 1061-1079, and cases cited therein.)
Accordingly, the trial court did not
err in denying the request for removal.
Williams also made an accommodation
request in the trial court pursuant to rule 1.100 of the California Rules of
Court (rule 1.100). She now contends the
trial court improperly refused her request.
But a challenge to the trial courtâ€™s ruling under rule 1.100 must be
made by a petition for writ of mandate filed in this court within 10 days after
the trial courtâ€™s response to the request.
(Rule 1.100 (g)(2).)
Williams did not file a timely writ
petition. And she cannot show
prejudice. (Cal. Const., art. VI,
§ 13; Code Civ. Proc., § 475; Biscaro
v. Stern (2010) 181 Cal.App.4th 702, 709.) With or without the requested accommodation,
the trial court could not have ordered the pending workersâ€™ compensation matter
removed to the superior court.
The order is affirmed.
MAURO , Acting P. J.
DUARTE , J.
HOCH , J.
name="_ftn1" title=""> Undesignated statutory references are to the
name="_ftn2" title=""> The Industrial Accident Commission is the
predecessor of the WCAB. (>Abraham v. Workersâ€™ Comp. Appeals Bd.
(2003) 113 Cal.App.4th 1082, 1088, fn. 4.)