The Court of Appeal Issued a Non Published Decision on Apportionment

This is a very significant case for workers’ compensation principles in that it discusses the current case law.

The applicant had a specific injury in 2000. The applicant

also filed a cumulative trauma from 2002 to 2004. The applicant was seen by an Agreed Medical Examiner (AME) for both injuries. The AME determined the applicant was 100 percent disabled.

The AME determined it was all the result of the specific injury and the cumulative trauma was a compensable consequence of the specific injury.

At trial the workers’ compensation judge (WCJ) found the applicant 100 percent without apportionment. The AME indicated the Benson case was not applicable here because Benson dealt with successive injuries while this was a compensable consequence.

The Worker’s Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) agreed with the WCJ and denied the petition for reconsideration filed by the defendant. The Court of Appeal looked at Labor Code sections 4663 and 4664 and the Benson case.

The Court of Appeal indicated that successive injuries to the same body part under Brodie and Benson can not be rated as a single injury, except where the physician cannot parcel out the causation of the disability. There must be apportionment. This case was remanded for apportionment.


Editor: Harvey Brown

Firm: Samuelsen, Gonzalez, Valenzuela and Brown

Address: 3501 Jamboree Suite 602

Newport Beach, ca 92662

Case: SCIF v WCAB (Dorsett)
This is a non published Court of Appeal case

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

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