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Kentucky: ALJ Appropriately Disregarded Impairment Opinion That Was Not Based Upon AMA Guidelines

September 02, 2016 (1 min read)

It was appropriate for the ALJ to disregard the portion of the injured worker’s medical expert witness testimony that related to visual impairment where the expert, in assessing the overall permanent impairment of the injured worker, based his that assessment on the conclusions of an ophthalmologist whose report reflected a “20% vision disability,” which is not a recognized impairment rating under the AMA Guide’s. The appellate court said that it was, therefore, appropriate for the ALJ to reduce the medical expert’s overall impairment rating from 61 percent to 51 percent and in doing so, the ALJ did not reject the uncontested medical proof, but rather provided sufficient justification. The appellate court concluded that the Board erred when it reversed and remanded the ALJ’s decision, since it had inappropriately substituted its judgment for that of the fact-finder.

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 Advance.

See Fresenius Med. Care Holdings, Inc. v. Mitchell, 2016 Ky. App. LEXIS 149 (Aug. 26, 2016)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 80.07.

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