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Applicant Entitled to Additional QME to Evaluate New Cumulative Trauma Indentified During Medical-Legal Evaluation for Specific Injury

(2018) 2018 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 33

Applicant, a Deputy Sheriff for the County of Orange, alleged a specific injury to his left knee and right foot occurring on November 14, 2013.  He was evaluated for the injury by a Panel QME.  In his report, the QME stated that the applicant sustained not only a specific injury, but also a cumulative trauma involving the same body parts.

Applicant’s attorney filed a new Application for the cumulative trauma and requested a new QME Panel to evaluate the newly-filed cumulative trauma.  Defendant objected and filed a Declaration of Readiness.

Following the hearing, the Trial Judge agreed with the applicant that under Navarro, the applicant was not required to return to the same QME for evaluation of the subsequently filed claim.

Defendant filed a Petition for Removal which was denied.

The Commissioners adopted the Workers’ Compensation Judge’s Report and Recommendation.  They agreed that under “a strict reading of the holding in Navarro, applicant would be entitled to a new PQME for his subsequently filed cumulative trauma claim.”

Written by Edward L. Hummer, Associate Attorney in our Santa Rosa office, June 2018.