The DC Circuit Board issued a statement by the Washington DC Compensation Review Board on Thursday which found that an employer would be liable for any reduction, even though it was derived from two separate damages.
In Howard University Hospital of the District of Columbia Employment Services Department the Circuit Court claimed that the Audit Committee failed to properly consider how the employee's deterioration would affect his ability to pay and consider disability distribution between the two injuries.
The worker worked as a radiological technician at Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC. In 2013, technicians said he felt pain in his right shoulder while lifting a patient to prepare for an X-ray. He had previously suffered an injury on his right shoulder in 201
He received medical treatment and submitted a work compensation on disability for permanent partial use of his arm resulting from the 2013 injury. An independent physician concluded that the technique had a 47% reduction on his right upper extremity and attributed 20% of that impairment to the 2011 injury and 27% to his 2013 injury. A second examiner found that technicians only had a 4% write-down, and half were related to the 2011 injury and attributed to the second half to the 2013 injury. ALJ gave more importance to the first investigator and determined that technicians had a 37% permanent disability to their right upper extremity and that the hospital was responsible for any reduction as a subdivision of the Washington DC Workers Compensation Act appeared to exclude breakdown of damages.
The hospital challenged the award and the court of law handed down ALJ's verdict and terminated the case for further proceedings. The Tredom Panel unanimously concluded that the review committee must consider a correct interpretation of the law. In the law, it had required that an applicant's current employer only replace a new part of disability that was partly incurred from a previous injury and partly from a new injury and provided additional compensation under circumstances that would be paid by a second fund that would replace employers for benefits paid after 104 weeks. But a sub-section that was later presented noted that the provision would only apply to damage that occurred before 1998 and prevented the distribution of damages. However, the Court noted that, given the complexity of the sub-section and the labeling, it could be concluded that the DC Council intended only to cancel the second claim fund, or distribution.
The hospital also challenged the board's conclusion that the shoulder is part of the arm for compensation purposes and that the board incorrectly stated that he ALJ adequately explained the connection between the technician's physical impairment and the extent of his disability.
Circuit court agreed that that board failed to formulate a reasonable basis for processing the shaft as part of the arm in determining a schema award and noted that ALJ failed to explain the consequences, if any, that the technician's physical disability would have on their future pay capacity capacity. As a result, the court disappeared the Board's orders and terminated the case for further proceedings.
Howard University Hospital could not be reached for comment.