Exciting news! Kent Ball in Bradford & Barthel’s Walnut Creek office just had a favorable ruling from the California Supreme Court in Larry Gossett vs. WCAB. The decision has been written up in several industry publications, including the Insurance Journal, Forbes.com, WorkersCompensation.com, and WorkCompCentral.com.
In summary, Kent obtained apportionment to an asymptomatic condition even though the physician who provided the apportionment opinion, in a supplemental report, that his determination was “too speculative.” The trial judge agreed. The WCAB, on reconsideration, reversed the trial judge’s award thereby reducing a 76% award (worth about $175,000 with the life pension) to 65% ($81,000). The Board, in its Decision After Reconsideration, noted the “doctor’s reference to speculation is surplus language and does not undermine his opinion on apportionment…”
In short, despite the doctor’s express reservations, the WCAB agreed with Kent Ball that the doctor’s initial apportionment determination was legal and valid “substantial evidence.” Applicant’s Petition for Writ of Review with the Court of Appeal was denied, as was his Petition for Review with the Supreme Court.
Yes, you can even get apportionment with a waffling doctor!
Don Barthel, Esq. is a founding partner of Bradford & Barthel, LLP and a founder of B&B Rating Services.
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