A published decision of the Court of Appeal addresses Almaraz/Guzman-II issue of rating with no objective findings
- Posted By: Harvey Brown
- February 1, 2014
This is a published court of Appeal case
This is a very significant case for workers’ compensation principles.
The applicant was a police officer. He injured his left foot and heel. This was an admitted injury. He was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis.
An Agreed Medical Examiner (AME) wrote a report offering no impairment under the AMA Guides. In a supplemental report the doctor gave a 7 percent impairment using Almaraz-Guzman-II, because other than tenderness, no objective findings were identifiable.
At trial the Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) found no impairment because the condition was not “ complex or extraordinary”. On petition for reconsideration the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) reversed indicating that the doctor by analogy provided an accurate assessment which met the requirements of Almaraz/Guzman-II.
The appellate court reviewed Almaraz/Guzman-II and indicated that even though the plantar fasciitis was only manifested by subjective experiences of pain a 7 percent permanent disability was warranted. This was equivalent to an analogy of a limp with arthritis.