On May 29, 2019, DGC attorney Jonathan Freeman obtained a take-nothing decision from the Oakland WCAB.
The claimed injury was filed as a cumulative trauma by an applicant at a tire store, who claimed that he suffered a knee and back injury. Defendant had no medicals to support the claim and immediately referred the case to DGC because they suspected the motive for the claim was that a co-worker (the applicant’s cousin) at the insured had recently received a substantial settlement for a workers’ compensation case. The applicant failed to attend a scheduled MPN appointment to assess his medical condition during the delay period. After deposition of the applicant revealed that he had never missed any time from work and continued to be employed by the insured in a full-duty capacity, Jonathan Freeman recommended denial based on the lack of a date of injury under Labor Code Sections 5412 and 5500.5(a).
The PQME evaluated the applicant and provided 0% impairment under DRE I, but did state that the applicant’s back problems were due to a combination of repetitive work and degenerative issues. Applicant demanded stipulations at 0% PD with a lifetime medical award, which defendants refused on the grounds that without compensable permanent disability or compensable temporary disability there could be no date of injury under Labor Code 5412, and without a last day worked there could not be a “last date” upon which the employee was harmfully exposed under Labor Code 5500.5(a). Jonathan next pushed the case to hearing with a DOR and obtained favorable stipulations when setting the case for trial, including the fact that the case rated 0% and that applicant had missed no time from work.
The matter was submitted for trial on May 29, 2019. The WCJ ordered that the applicant take nothing. The decision has not been appealed and is therefore final.
You can read a redacted version of the WCJ’s Findings, Order, and Opinion on Decision below.
WCJ’s Findings and Order and Opinion on Decision: Click here