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Workers' Compensation

The Christmas Post—and an Empty Stocking on a Claim for Psychiatric Impairment

Nutella Grace's Cat Christmas Stocking

Above is picture of my kitty's Christmas stocking.  A needlepoint image of a grey-brown mackerel tabby that looks alarmingly like the real thing.  My husband was horrified that I paid $36.00 for the stocking at a boutique in Greenville; but that is nothing compared to the $66.00 "Pottery Barn Kids" stocking we had for the late, great Cupka Marie.  Cupka's stocking is also being displayed this year, although not on the mantle with the others.  Gone....but not forgotten.  This year we will celebrate our Nutella Grace......whose stocking is full to the brim, much to the jealous chagrin of my daughters.

Speaking of Christmas, and just in case there was any doubt about the status of the permanency law in The First State when it comes to mental infirmity, the attached case reinforces that a psychiatric permanency should NEVER be on the list for Santa.  Caroline Sudler v. Bank of America, IAB #1351206 (12/15/11) documents a claim for a 16% impairment for an alleged "panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder".   Dr. Jay Weisberg testified for the claimant and relied upon the Fifth Edition of the AMA Guide; Dr. Gladys Fenichel testified on behalf of the employer, disputing that the permanent impairment was recoverable as a matter of law.  Additionally, Dr. Fenichel opined that any current psychiatric issues were due to unrelated causes.  Of particular further interest are her comments regarding application of the Sixth Edition of the AMA Guide and what is required under the Guide to establish an impairment.

Bottom line is that the law in Delaware on the issue of mental or psychiatric impairment has not changed and as such, this claim was denied in reliance upon Ramey v. DE Materials, 399 A. 2d 205 (Del. 1979) and Burton Transportation Center v. Willoughby, 265 A.2d 22 (Del. 1970).   Santa was not completely without regard for the claimant's plight, and there was an award of 15% to the vocal cords and 7.5% for right sided hearing loss.

This likely concludes my posts until the New Year.  I leave you with the following:

"So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."  [Luke 2:16-19, NIV]

Wishing you a holiday filled with the hope and wonder of Christ's birth, and all  that is worthy of being "treasured up",
Cassandra Roberts

Delaware Detour & Frolic   Visit Delaware Detour & Frolic, a law blog by Cassandra Roberts

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