California WCAB Finds QME Reports Met Standards Under Almaraz/Guzman

Artemio Gonzalez v. Rangell Drywall, Inc.

Permanent Disability--Rating--AMA Guides--WCAB, affirming WCJ's decision, held that QME's reports constituted substantial evidence under standards set forth in Almaraz v. Environmental Recovery Services/Guzman v. Milpitas Unified School District (2009) 74 Cal. Comp. Cases 1084 (Almaraz/Guzman II), to support WCJ's finding that applicant/construction worker's 12/19/2005 injury to left lower extremity resulted in 30 percent permanent disability, when QME provided measurements as  well as a reasoned explanation as to why he used specific tables (Tables 17-12, 17-13 and 17-37) in AMA Guides to determine applicant's level of impairment based upon range of motion findings and nerve deficits,  and provided specific findings on diagnostic testing and calculations for each impairment; WCAB rejected defendant's contention that sections 2.6b and 2.6c of AMA Guides require physicians to provide specific measurements in reports, as AMA Guides impose no requirement as to how detailed physicians must be in presenting evaluation and no statement that measurements must be presented in a particular format. © Copyright 2010 LexisNexis. All rights reserved.

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Source: Calif. Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board