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Massachusetts: Judge Has Broad Discretion in Weighing Causation Evidence

May 19, 2016 (1 min read)

The Massachusetts Industrial Accident Reviewing Board erred when it reversed an administrative judge’s decision that awarded benefits for a claimant’s left shoulder injury. The Board found that the judge had mischaracterized the findings of an impartial medical examiner (IME), who expressed “concern” that the claimant did not report left shoulder pain until one year after a workplace accident. The IME indicated that in such a case of delayed reporting, the shoulder injury likely had some other origin. The appellate court noted that an expression of concern on the part of the IME did not rise to the level of a medical opinion, that there was record evidence that the claimant had indeed complained of left shoulder pain soon after the accident and that the judge was within the judge’s discretion in weighing the evidence and finding that a causal relationship existed between the industrial accident and the injury.

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 Wilson’s Case, 2016 Mass. App. LEXIS 53 (May 16, 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