The need of substantial evidence for psychiatric injury in the form of sleep disorder

This is a published appellate court case

This is a very significant case for workers’ compensation principles.

The applicant suffered an admitted injury to his back. The applicant also alleged a psychiatric injury in the form of a sleep disorder. The applicant was evaluated by an Agreed Medical Examiner (AME) in orthopedics. The AME found the applicant permanent and stationary and apportioned 50 percent to non-industrial causation.

The applicant then was evaluated by a rheumatologist who diagnosed a sleep disorder.

The applicant was then referred to a psychologist. The psychologist stated that percentage of causation was greater than the legal threshold of 50 percent. The psychologist deferred on apportionment until the applicant was permanent and stationary from a psychiatric standpoint.

The case went to trial. The Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) found the applicant sustained injury to the back and a sleep disorder. The applicant was permanent and stationary for his back, but temporarily disabled for the sleep disorder. Defendant filed a petition for reconsideration. The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) agreed with the WCJ.

Defendant filed a writ of review. The appeals court remanded the case back to the WCAB. The court indicated the psychologist’s report was not substantial evidence because there was no final determination on percentage of psychiatric apportionment since the applicant was still TD.

Case: Radiator v. WCAB (King)

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

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