Oct 2020 New York Workers’ Compensation Law Reporter Highlights
October 2020 New York Workers’ Compensation Law Reporter Highlights
Carrier’s change in IME doctors casts doubt on credibility of opinion
Case name:New York, State of/Dept. of Corrections & Community Supervision, 120 NYWCLR 1379 (N.Y. WCB, Full Board 2020)
Ruling: The Full Board held that the record supported a finding that the claimant, a corrections office, had a 50 percent schedule loss of use (SLU) of the left arm and 42.5 percent SLU of the right arm after taking into account a 30 percent SLU of the right arm from a previous claim.
What it means: A carrier’s contention that it switched IME doctors for a second report because it was unable to schedule an examination with the original doctor does not constitute a sufficient excuse for the change where, as here, the carrier never requested an extension to obtain a second IME report from the original doctor. It is more likely that the carrier simply wanted to obtain a more favorable opinion from a second doctor.
Claimant prove attachment to labor market during COVID-19 restrictions
Case name:Volunteers of America Greater New York, 120 NYWCLR 140 (N.Y. WCB, Panel, 2020)
Ruling: Based upon a preponderance of the evidence, a Board panel found the claimant was attached to the labor market at the time of classification.
What it means: Where the claimant obtains post injury work in March 2020, but is laid off after two days due to the employer’s inability to train new employees during the COVID-19 outbreak, the evidence supports a finding that the claimant has demonstrated a good faith effort to find work and is attached to the labor market.
New York Workers’ Compensation Law Reporter, October, 2020