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The Missouri Labor and Industrial Relations Commission has broad discretion in considering and receiving expert medical evidence, held a state appellate court. That discretion is in fact so broad that it was empowered to accept the opinion of an audiologist (who had a Ph.D in hearing science) as to the nature and extent of a worker’s disability from tinnitus instead of the expert opinion offered by a medical doctor who specialized in otolaryngology and in spite of the fact that the audiologist based his opinion essentially upon the subjective descriptions offered by the worker. The court stressed that a medical expert need not be a physician. All that was required was that the potential “expert” exhibit some level of education or specialized experience that reasonably showed that the purported expert possessed superior knowledge on a subject that persons without such education or experience would be incapable of forming an accurate opinion or drawing correct conclusions.
Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).
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See Hogenmiller v. Mississippi Lime Co., 2019 Mo. App. LEXIS 706 (May 7, 2019)
See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 128.05.
Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law
For a more detailed discussion of the case, see