Home > Uncategorized > Earlier Treatment Reports Shift CT DOI Back to Pre-1/1/13

Earlier Treatment Reports Shift CT DOI Back to Pre-1/1/13

Happy Monday, dear readers!

You’ve survived another weekend after being cruelly pulled away from your precious files and typing out your gleeful denial letters by an amalgamation of religious observance, union activities, and human rights that gave you two days a week that are generally work free.

Well, don’t worry – I know you’re jonesing for a dose of workers’ comp and I’ve got a double for you.

Today’s post is about the panel decision in the Azurdia case (Azurdia v. International Union of Operating Engineers).

Everyone loves cumulative traumas – it allows California to stand out from most other states by declaring as industrial injuries that are sustained by all people through the course of their lives (some of which happens to be on the clock), it also allows us to revel in the fact that no matter what, any one of us could be sporting an industrial injury if we only enjoyed suffering so much as to subject ourselves to the workers’ comp system.

The tricky thing with CTs is, of course, is the date of injury.  Labor Code section 5412 provides that the date of injury is the coinciding of disability and knowledge of industrial causation.

In Azurdia, the WCJ found the date of injury to coincide with the report of the AME in this case, thus providing “knowledge.”  However, the WCAB reversed this conclusion, and picked an earlier date based on the fact that applicant reported symptoms to her primary care physician a few years earlier.

Defendant’s basis for seeking reconsideration, that the WCJ had increased PD based on  a compensable consequence psyche claim and had also increased PD by 15% for failure to make an offer of regular, modified, or alternative work, all on a post-1/1/13 claim.  However, the WCAB ruled that those contentions were moot when the date of injury was actually in 2011 based on the “knew” date of knowledge (did you see what I did there? Apparently, it’s called a pun…)

Anywho, the medical documentation provided applicant with an earlier date of injury, shifting the DOI from 2013 to 2011.

So some thoughts on this – the date of injury is pretty important, as you can see above.  Had defendant succeeded in establishing a post-1/1/13 date of injury, the PD value would have faced a whole lot of slashing.  What’s more, this is a CT, which means that liability shifts with coverage which shifts with the DOI.

The actual DOI is worth fighting for!

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