“Recent Decisions in Workers’ Compensation and Their Practical Implications” is an article written by Strobl & Sharp’s Murray R. Feldman and Theresa A. Pinch and published in the January 2009 edition of Michigan Defense Quarterly. This article explores the current and future issues in the area of workers’ compensation law and practice. Below is the executive summary and a link to the article.
Workers’ compensation law has undergone many changes since its adoption in 1912, but recent cases have brought about especially significant changes. In one case, the Supreme Court held that the fact that an injury prevents an employee from performing the work for which the employee’s skills and training qualify him or her does not constitute a disability where the employee can do other work at the same wage.
In another case the court held that where an employee has a pre-existing condition, evidence of a symptom consistent with that condition is insufficient to establish a personal injury that arises out of and in the course of employment. Instead the employee must show an injury that is distinct from the pre-existing condition.
A third case, addressing the issue of disability, held that the employee must disclose his or her qualification and bears the burden of proving the types of jobs for which he or she is qualified, how the injury prevents the employee of performing those jobs, and that any jobs for which the employee is qualified are unavailable. In connection with this the court described an expanded scope of discovery in workers’ compensation cases.
The result is to make the workers’ compensation process more time-consuming, more complicated and less economical for both employees and employers.
Click here to read the article in its entirety.