Marilyn N. Harvey
Clarke, Dolph, Hull & Brunick, PLC
BA, University of Virginia
JD, University of Miami School of Law
Best known for:
Workers’ compensation defense
I represented an employer in a matter where a claimant sustained a compensable concussion. Subsequent to the acceptance of the claim and entry of an award order, claimant quit working for the employer and began a new job. After working in her new position for a few months, claimant alleged she was unable to adequately perform her job due to lingering concussion symptoms, including inability to focus and depression, and sought ongoing indemnity benefits. Through thorough investigation, it was determined claimant routinely posted hour-plus long Facebook Live videos on her public Facebook where she operated multiple multilevel marketing businesses and sold products via Facebook Live. Over 24 hours of Facebook videos were downloaded, transcribed and admitted into evidence at the hearing. The videos directly contradicted claimant’s testimony, appearance at the hearing, and her treating physician’s opinions. As a result, the deputy commissioner denied claimant’s claim for ongoing indemnity and determined her current medical complaints were not causally related to her concussion.
The most satisfying part of my law practice is helping my clients investigate and litigate claims to maintain the integrity of the workers’ compensation system by ensuring a claimant is held to his/her burden of proving a compensable accident and entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits. The most satisfying claims are the ones where it is determined via investigation and litigation that a claimant is attempting to defraud his/her employer and the commission, and I am able to prevent that claimant from receiving benefits he/she is not entitled to.
Working with clients:
When advising clients, I always keep in mind the individuals involved and the most cost effective outcome for my client. As exciting as litigating claims is, approaching claims in the most pragmatic manner keeps litigation costs as low as possible and focuses the defense efforts on claims that will create advantageous precedent.
Best career advice:
The best career advice I’ve ever received was to listen to what others say. Being the loudest person in a room is more often than not a liability. In litigation, if you do not listen to what a witness says, you miss opportunities to develop the record and the facts of the case that could ensure your client wins.
Repetitive motion claims are going to be a hot bed of change in the next year. The General Assembly has reviewed the recent JLARC study done on the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act and is likely to take some form of action to expand the coverage for repetitive injuries in Virginia. The litigation of the COVID-19 presumption that went into effect on July 1, 2021, and its retroactivity will also provide interesting litigation in the next year.