The Court of Appeal Issued a Non Published Decision on the Issue of Good Cause to Reopen Under Labor Code 5803

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

The applicant was injured In August of 2004. The applicant received treatment and eventually saw an Agreed Medical Examiner (AME). The AME gave disability which rated differently depending on whether you used the 1997 Permanent Disability Rating Schedule (PDRS) or the 2005 PDRS.

A trial was held and the Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) awarded benefits under the 2005 PDRS. The only published case at this time was the Vera case. The WCJ relied on this case and the applicant received less disability than if the 1997 PDRS was used.

In October 2008 the applicant Petitioned to Reopen the case on a change in the law. In 2009 the WCJ ruled there was good cause to reopen based on a change in the law because of the cases of Genlyte and Zenith. The employer filed a Petition for Reconsideration and the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board reversed the WCJ stating there had been no change in the law.

The appellate court annuled the WCAB decision and remanded the case to the WCAB to apply the Genlyte case and determine if there was substantial evidence based on the entire record.


Editor: Harvey Brown

Firm: Samuelsen, Gonzalez, Valenzuela and Brown

Address: 18881 Von Karman # 250 Irvine 92612

Phone: 949 252-1300


Case: Gonzalez v. WCAB (Barrett Business Services)
This is a non published Court of Appeal case

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

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