Workers' Compensation

Parks and Recreation: Delaware’s Watson Standard Is No Slam-Dunk!

Okay, so first I am going back on my promise that Monday's post was the last one of 2011.  I have to comment one more time before Baby New year shows his face.  For some background on today's topic, check out my posts of 10/25/11 ["Reversal of Fortune"] and 12/12/11["Elementary, My Dear Watson"] which deal with the very recent Delaware Supreme Court decision  in Watson v. Wal-Mart and its potential impact on the use of labor market surveys to establish a showing of job availability.

Second, I am also going back on my usual position that I do not blog about my own cases.  Where the post of 12/12/12 highlighted the Sussex County IAB panel's treatment of Watson, my case brings to the table the perspective of the New Castle County IAB and the scholarly commentary of Chief Hearing Officer Chris Baum.  William Parks v. Vintage Properties, IAB# 1348176 (12/13/11) is possibly the first pronouncement of the upstate Board on Watson, which, to borrow a phrase coined by Walt Schmittinger, represents "the new hotness....".

Claimant attorney Ken Carmine took the position that our case, pending on a Review Term, was a classic Watson.  I argued that this case was so far from Watson you couldn't find it on a GPS.  And that a good faith job search is the precursor to Watson even being considered.  And unlike the cases in my post of 12/12/11, this claimant was limited to sedentary work.  Claimant was deemed a symptom-exaggerator, limited his job search to the labor market survey, and was believed to have overstated his level of disability to potential employers.    Termination was granted and a modest temp partial was awarded based on-what else?- the labor market survey.

Finally, in the spirit of "Festivus" it is time for the airing of grievances.  I understand that I may have offended colleagues below the canal with my reference to "slower lower" when discussing happenings in the lower two counties.  I will refrain if I must....but those of you who are offended soooo don't get my meaning when I talk about "slower lower."  I consider the southern part of our First State to represent a kinder, gentler, and more enlightened approach to life,  evidencing a pattern of geniality and hospitality not usually found in Wilmington.......not to mention it is a hotbed of Republican and evangelical activity.  God's country-you bet!

And to borrow from a recent Bon Jovi post on Facebook -- Heaven looks a lot like Sussex County!

Irreverently yours,
Cassandra Roberts

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

For more information about LexisNexis products and solutions connect with us through our corporate site.