Worker’s compensation in the state of California has been handed another notable struggle after the Fifth District Court of Appeal (DCA) in that state chose not to review the decision of the Worker’s Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) with regards to the June 16, 2011 case of State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) v. WCAB.
This appears to be a potentially detrimental blow to the efforts of the Schwarzenegger administration to bring some health back into the permanent disability system of workers’ compensation in California.
Though it is possible for the SCIF to take this most recent decision to the California Supreme Court for appeal, that organization saw failures there last year when they could not solidify a defense petition in the Sixth DCA case of Joyce Guzman v. Milpitas Unified School District, which addressed the identical legal issues. This indicates that this type of pursuit would be pointless.
This also suggests that the permanent disability system in California will now be directed by the affirmation of the Sixth District Court of the decision of the WCAB. It looks as though the permanent disability awards will remain on the rise, and that there will be a continual withering of an permanent disability system with an objective foundation.
That said, though it is no longer possible for the defense community to rely upon the appropriate application of the AMA Guides by physicians to make certain that permanent disability awards are made with moderation, appropriateness, and predictability, it is still possible for the defense community to take action against the misuse of the AMA guides, which can lead to significant expenses.