In a non published decision the appellate court discusses apportionment between specific and cumulative trauma

The applicant sustained a specific injury on June 15, 2001. Three years later, she submitted a second claim for a cumulative trauma from 1998 to 2004. There was a stipulation to injury for the specific and cumulative trauma.

The case went to trial on nature and extent of disability. The Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) found a 29% disability for the specific and a 100% disability for the cumulative trauma. There was no apportionment on the 100% award. The commuted award was for $2,005,089. Defendants petitioned for reconsideration and the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) upheld the decision resulting in this appeal. There were numerous Amicus Curiae briefs.

The appellate court indicated that where an injured employee has a prior permanent disability they must apportion.

Apportionment is required for each distinct industrial injury. Each injury must stand on its own. Here it was determined there was overlap between the injuries and that apportionment must take place. The court questions whether a doctor can determine 100% without expert testimony.

Case: Southern California Edison v. WCAB (Martinez)

Harvey Brown
3501 Jamboree Rd. Suite 602
Newport Beach, CA 92660

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