In Hawaii’s workers’ comp system, people with long-lasting injuries are often forced to battle doctors hand-picked by insurance companies to get treatment.
Hobbled by pain from work injuries, Vanessa Sylva had to overcome medical reports by insurance doctors that challenged her need for surgeries.
Surveillance is accepted practice in workers’ comp cases. It can lead to a cutoff of benefits, but things are not always as they appear.
Chris Brigham has exerted major influence on how Hawaii’s insurers treat injured workers claims. Critics say he has mostly made it easier to slash benefits.
The Hawaii Supreme Court made two rulings in 2015 in favor of workers who had been denied treatment for their injuries.