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In Workers' Compensation News - Appellate Court to Rule on Permanent Total Disability Dispute

 

The proper application of Labor Code Section 4662(b) has for some time now been a bit of a thorn in the side of the WC industry. We have seen many cases where that Section is being relied on by Workers' Compensation Judges to find 100% permanent disability (”according to proof”) in the absence of an actual 100% rating according to the Permanent Disability Rating Schedule. That can be a very costly case disposition, as it results in indemnity payments at fairly substantial rates for the remainder of the injured worker’s life.

The 3rd District Appellate Court has agreed to hear a case where this issue was decided by the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board in the injured worker’s favor, granting 100% Permanent Total Disability based on LCS 4662(b). The employer has appealed the case, and the 3rd DCA has granted the Petition for Review. Oral arguments are scheduled for September 17th. A published decision by a District Court of Appeals has precedential standing in that District, and is citable and can be relied on for guidance by all lower courts (i.e., the WCAB). It may be appealed to the California Supreme Court. A citable decision at the Appellate level or above should result in more clarity as to the question of what is the true permanent disability indemnity exposure for employers under section 4662.

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