NWCDN Members regularly post articles and summary judgements in workers’ compensations law in your state.
Select a state from the dropdown menu below to scroll through the state specific archives for updates and opinions on various workers’ compensation laws in your state.
Contact information for NWCDN members is also located on the state specific links in the event you have additional questions or your company is seeking a workers’ compensation lawyer in your state.
A hearing officer found that when the certifying doctor did not rate the entire compensable injury, the exception found in Labor Code Section 408.123(f)(1)(A) of the statute applied and the certification of MMI/IR did not become final. That is the section that says compelling medical evidence of a significant error by the certifying doctor in applying the AMA Guides constitutes an exception to finality. Presumably, the hearing officer conflated an extent issue with an improper application of the Guides. However, it was not until after the 90 day finality period had expired that the hearing officer found in the claimant’s favor on the extent of the injury. The Appeals Panel found that there is nothing in either Section 408.123 or Rule 130.12 that would allow an exception to finality under this circumstance. Once the 90 day rule results in finality, a later determination on extent of injury cannot revive it. But then the Appeals Panel remanded the case to the hearing officer to determine whether or not Section 408.123(f)(1)(C)’s exception to finality would apply— the provision that allows an exception where there is improper or inadequate treatment before the date of MMI/IR. Finding that the parties had actually raised and litigated that exception, the Appeals Panel reversed the hearing officer’s decision that the certification had not become final under Section 408.123(f)(1)A), and remanded the case for the hearing officer to determine if there had been improper or inadequate treatment such that Section 408.123(f)(1) (c) might apply. DWC Appeals Panel Decision No. 135294-s