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Alaska: Medical Evidence Supports Board’s Finding That Workplace Accident Was Not Substantial Cause of Employee’s Disability

May 27, 2016 (1 min read)

Noting the considerable deference allowed to the state’s Workers’ Compensation Board when it comes to reconciling any differences in medical evidence, the Supreme Court of Alaska affirmed a decision that denied a former employee’s claim for additional benefits where substantial evidence supported the Board’s finding that the employee’s work-related injuries were not the substantial cause of her disability or need for medical treatment [see Alas. Stat. § 23.30.010(a)]. The employee contended that she suffered injuries to her knees when on two separate occasions a filing cabinet tipped over and struck her. Medical evidence tended to show, however, that the employee’s main medical issue was arthritis, that MRIs before and after the two accidents were virtually identical, and that the employee had a “tendency to convert stress to somatic symptoms.” A chiropractor released the employee to work without restrictions less than a week after the second incident. A separate physician also indicated the employee was “heavily invested in her symptoms to the point of invalidism.” The Court concluded that ample evidence supported the Board’s findings

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis

See Buchinsky v. The Arc of Anchorage & Seabright Ins. Co., 2016 Alas. LEXIS 70 (May 25, 2016).

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 130.05.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.