Saturday, July 19, 2008


The mantel finally was put up. We were going to get a "box" type made, but the builder found someone who could do a whole timber. The problem was getting one long enough, which ended up being 16 feet long. It's 10x10 inches, and must have weighed about 350 pounds initially. We got it in March, and it sat on the hearth frame until this week, and lost about 50 pounds of moisture. Not sure what we were waiting for initially, but as the framers got going he wanted to get it up so they could do the built ins fitted correctly for it. Unfortunately, because of the size we had to get information on minimal clearance above the fireplace so there wouldn't be a fire danger, and of course that took some additional time of bsn around.
It does look impressive though, and has the look of solidity and heft.

In the next two views, you can hopefully see that the beam has carved out highlights. This is hand carved so as to give it the .....hand carved look. As you can see, the front and bottom are carved. The top is flat so as to accommodate the various dust collectors that will sit there, without falling over. The ends of the beam are notched to fit over the side columns and look as if it is cut into the columns. It's actually supported by bolts through the back. For the vertical columns there will be boards of the same wood, fir, with carved facing, fit on to give the look of full vertical beams.
Unfortunately, they initially put the mantel up wrong, with the carve face on top and in front, and the rough side that was to back to the wall on the bottom. Because mounting holes were already drilled and the notches were cut on the ends, they couldn't just take it down and "roll"it 90 degrees, but had to flip it end to end. Fortunately, it looks like it's supposed to except the rough cut side is on top and will have to be sanded.

Various other trim work has been done, with trim around some windows, baseboards, and framing in of columns in the lower level. The stairs look well done with great looking posts. The caps were put on this week.

Sunset Highlight

Sunday, July 13, 2008

More Built-Ins and Trim Work

All the lavender is blooming and the bees love it. What are the odds the house will be ready when the blooms are done?
Anyway, the trim carpenters have been busy, although we still seem to only have a half crew. I met with the landscaper who is only moving around boulders for now, and we have to place a few more of the big ones then the driveway should be going in.

I found a site on the web that makes custom wood pieces, including a variety of table and island legs. The wood is the same as the rest of the house, alder. For the overhang of the island I bought 2 legs, which fit very well and matched the standard height. The carpenters will connect them with more support for the top. I also ordered a third leg for additional support and looks. The stain crew will match the color with the island cabinets.

Adjacent to the kitchen is a recess at the end of the hallway where we're putting a built in hutch. This will have drawers at the bottom and cabinets on top. I ordered half legs from the same site, and those are applied to the front of the hutch and the carpenters finished around the base. We've been pleased with the craftmanship so far.

Drawers will be made to fit in the lower section. Cabinets go on top, and wood backing covers the area of drywall still visible. At the top, a front will go to the ceiling and we'll put some type of carving over that.

Stairway posts and railings. The tops need to be finished up. THe ballisters will have the look of branches and leaves. A sample was brought in, shown below. "Leaves" will be welded to the branches.

Basement great room above. The mantel is 10 inches deep and the wall will be finished with stone, with wood cabinets to either side. A platform will hold our large tv console that we have now, to the left of the fireplace.
Below is the master bath. The platform for the tub has panels to match the cabinets. Those are removable to access the tub "equipment" underneath.

Lori in the study above and below. This is mostly done. Cabinet doors and shelving will be fitted.

Dining room 2 pictures above. The trim around the fireplace needs a little finishing, with wood over the drywall still showing.
Below, the mudroom. On top, the sink cabinets with small cabinets adjacent to the window. Below that, the elevator door with a closet to the right. To the left of the door a bench for shoes, and over that cabinets with a wood mount for hooks underneath.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lawsuit Victory

I was the victim of a harassment lawsuit involving a case where I performed some medical-legal work on. The lawyer in effect was accusing me of "conspiring" with the insurance company on the case. Basically, he's trying to make it too expensive and troublesome for doctors to evaluate his client's cases in these situations. This time, however, he got burned. The suit got dismissed and he got the opportunity to pay my attorney for my trouble. I'm glad I didn't have to, since it was about $18000. He still can appeal, but it will just end up costing him more. That sure feels good.

THIS MATTER comes before me upon consideration of Defendant John A’s
Motion to Dismiss pursuant to C.R.C.P. 12(b)(5). I have reviewed the Motion, Response,
Reply, and the entire court file, and have considered applicable statutory and case law. I make
the following findings of fact, conclusions of law, and enter the following ORDER:
Motions to dismiss pursuant to C.R.C.P 12(b)(5) are looked upon with disfavor and
should not be granted unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts
that would entitle him to relief. Verrier v. Colo. Dept. of Corr., 77 P.3d 873 (Colo. App. 2003);
Sweeney v. United Artists Theater Circuit, Inc., 119 P.3d 538 (Colo. App. 2005). The court may
consider documents referred to in the complaint, even if not attached to the complaint, without
converting the motion to a summary judgment. Yadon v. Lowry, 126 P.3d 332, 336 (Colo. App.
As a result of a work related injury, Plaintiff was receiving workers’ compensation
benefits from Pinnacol. Plaintiff desired an independent medical evaluation of his maximum
medical improvement, and Defendant John A was selected. Defendant A is
contracted to participate in Pinnacol’s SelectNet network, and is a medical advisor for Pinnacol.
Defendant A earns about 25% of his income in these capacities. When Plaintiff
learned of these ties, he requested protective relief, which was denied by an Administrative Law
Judge. After his evaluation, he appealed the determination, but was again denied by an ALJ. On
March 21, 2008, the Colorado Industrial Claim Appeals Office denied Plaintiff’s appeal, stating
it would not depart from prior holdings that a DIME physician who participates in SelectNet and
serves on a physician advisory panel for the insurer, but has no financial stake in the outcome of
Page 2
the independent evaluation before him, does not have a conflict of interest. Ruff v. City of
Manassa, W.C. No. 4-446-932 (ICAO March 21, 2008).
Both Colorado Statute and the Workers’ Compensation Rules of Procedure state that a
member of the medical review panel or someone acting as a consultant is immune from any civil
liability if that person acted in good faith. COLO. REV. STAT. § 8-43-502(6); 7 COLO. CODE REGS.
§ 1101-3. Colorado Courts have held that a physician-patient relationship does not exist between
an independent medical examiner and the person being examined. Martinez v. Lewis, 969 P.2d
213, 219 (Colo. 1998). The physician only has a duty to “exercise professional skill in
conducting the examination” not to cause harm to the person undergoing the exam. Greenberg
v. Perkins, 845 P.2d 530, 536 (Colo. 1993).
Plaintiff’s allegations of Defendant acting in bad faith arise entirely from his failure to
disclose his relationship with Pinnacol. Colorado statutes and the Workers’ Compensation Rules
of Procedure do require that a physician not examine a claimant if “the appearance of or an
actual conflict of interest exists.” COLO. REV. STAT. § 8-43-502(6); 7 COLO. CODE REGS. § 1101-
3. In this case, two Administrative Law Judges and the Industrial Claim Appeals Office
determined that Defendant A’s relationship with Pinnacol is not a conflict of interest;
therefore he was not required to disclose it. This is similar to other ICAO decisions. See, e.g.,
Benuishis v. Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Soc’y, W.C. No. 4-312-807 (ICAO April 17, 2005)
(holding a physician who received 1/3 of his income due to relationship with workers’
compensation insurer did not have a conflict of interest); Robertson v. Chicago Creek Roads,
Inc., W.C. No. 4-388-293 (ICAO April 3, 2001) (holding physician did not have a conflict of
interest because he had no financial stake in the outcome of the case). Courts should afford
deference to statutory construction of the Workers’ Compensation Act made by the director of
the agency. Rook v. Indus. Claim Appeals Office of Colo., 111 P.3d 549, 552 (Colo. Ct. App.
I will defer to the Workers’ Compensation Agency and its interpretation of a conflict of
interest. Because there are no facts showing Defendant A did not act in good faith in
his role as an independent medical examiner, he is covered by the immunity provisions of C.R.S.
§ 8-43-502(6) and Rule 11 of the W.C.R.P. Furthermore, since no bad faith claim can exist
when Defendant A was in compliance with Workers’ Compensation regulations,
Plaintiff cannot bring this suit in District Court. Instead, Plaintiff must exhaust all of his
Administrative Court remedies and appeal any adverse decision to the Colorado Court of
Appeals, as set forth in C.R.S. § 8/43-307.
A defendant is entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees if a tort suit is dismissed under Civil
Procedure Rule 12(b). COLO. REV. STAT. § 13-17-201. Award of attorney’s fees when the Court
grants 12(b) motion to dismiss in a tort action is mandatory. Kreft v. Adolph Coors Co., 170
P.3d 854, 859 (Colo. Ct. App. 2007).
Page 3
Defendant John A’s Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED and Plaintiff’s complaint
relating to Defendant A are DISMISSED with prejudice. Defendant John
A’s Request for Attorney’s Fees is GRANTED, as required by law. Defendant
A shall submit an affidavit of attorney’s fees and costs within 10 days of the date of
this order. Plaintiff may file a response within 5 days thereafter. If any party wants a hearing on
attorney’s fees and costs, they may request one in their submission
Done this 9th day of July, 2008.
Robert L. McGahey, Jr.
District Judge