2010 California Code
Chapter 2. Compromise And Release
5000. No contract, rule, or regulation shall exempt the employer from liability for the compensation fixed by this division, but nothing in this division shall: (a) Impair the right of the parties interested to compromise, subject to the provisions herein contained, any liability which is claimed to exist under this division on account of injury or death. (b) Confer upon the dependents of any injured employee any interest which the employee may not release by compromise or for which he, or his estate is in the event of such compromise by him accountable to dependents. 5001. Compensation is the measure of the responsibility which the employer has assumed for injuries or deaths which occur to employees in his employment when subject to this division. No release of liability or compromise agreement is valid unless it is approved by the appeals board or referee. 5002. A copy of the release or compromise agreement signed by both parties shall forthwith be filed with the appeals board. Upon filing with and approval by the appeals board, it may, without notice, of its own motion or on the application of either party, enter its award based upon the release or compromise agreement. 5003. Every release or compromise agreement shall be in writing and duly executed, and the signature of the employee or other beneficiary shall be attested by two disinterested witnesses or acknowledged before a notary public. The document shall specify: (a) The date of the accident. (b) The average weekly wages of the employee, determined according to Chapter 1 of Part 2 of this division. (c) The nature of the disability, whether total or partial, permanent or temporary. (d) The amount paid, or due and unpaid, to the employee up to the date of the release or agreement or death, and the amount of the payment or benefits then or thereafter to be made. (e) The length of time such payment or benefit is to continue. (f) In the event a claim of lien under subdivision (f) or (g) of Section 4903 has been filed, the number of days and the amount of temporary disability indemnity which should be allowed to the lien claimant. 5004. In case of death there shall also be stated in the release or compromise agreement: (a) The date of death. (b) The name of the widow. (c) The names and ages of all children. (d) The names of all other dependents. (e) Whether the dependents are total or partial. (f) The amount paid or to be paid as a death benefit and to whom payment is to be made. 5005. In any case involving a claim of occupational disease or cumulative injury, as set forth in Section 5500.5, the employee and any employer, or any insurance carrier for any employer, may enter into a compromise and release agreement settling either all or any part of the employee's claim, including a part of his claim against any employer. Such compromise and release agreement, upon approval by the appeals board or a referee, shall be a total release as to such employer or insurance carrier for the portion or portions of the claim released, but shall not constitute a bar to a recovery from any one or all of the remaining employers or insurance carriers for the periods of exposure not so released. In any case where a compromise and release agreement of a portion of a claim has been made and approved, the employee may elect to proceed as provided in Section 5500.5 against any one or more of the remaining employers, or against an employer for that portion of his exposure not so released; in any such proceeding after election following compromise and release, that portion of liability attributable to the portion or portions of the exposure so released shall be assessed and deducted from the liability of the remaining defendant or defendants, but any such defendant shall receive no credit for any moneys paid by way of compromise and release in excess of the liability actually assessed against the released employments and the employee shall not receive any further benefits from the released employments for any liability assessed to them above what was paid by way of compromise and release. In approving a compromise and release agreement under this section, the appeals board or referee shall determine the adequacy of the compromise and release agreement as it shall then reflect the potential liability of the released exposure after apportionment, but need not make a final actual determination of the potential liability of the employer or employers for that portion of the exposure being released. 5006. A determination of facts by the appeals board under this chapter has no collateral estoppel effect on a subsequent criminal prosecution and does not preclude litigation of those same facts in the criminal proceeding.
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