Georgia: Claimant Awarded Nurse Case Management Services for 1973 Catastrophic Injury

Georgia: Claimant Awarded Nurse Case Management Services for 1973 Catastrophic Injury

A Georgia appellate court held that a claimant, who sustained catastrophic injuries, including a traumatic brain injury, from a 40-foot fall in 1973, is entitled to nurse management services in spite of the fact that such services were not recoverable on the date of injury.  At a hearing, claimant presented evidence of his complex medical needs and his declining cognitive abilities, which has resulted in his wife being appointed as his permanent guardian. The ALJ found that the evidence clearly and overwhelmingly demonstrated that claimant was entitled to the designation of a rehab supplier/nurse case manager to assist with medical treatment.  The Appellate Division of the Board affirmed, but a superior court reversed.  The court indicated that even assuming the employer was correct in claiming that the rehabilitation/nurse case management service awarded by the board was not an available benefit until after the date of the injury, the Board’s award did not make compensable an otherwise non-compensable injury, but merely affected the scope of the benefit allowed in this ongoing workers' compensation case.  Case management services became available in 1975; there was no error in granting them now.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers’ compensation.

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See Ward v. Pre-Engineer Sys., 2014 Ga. App. LEXIS 532 (July 15, 2014) [2014 Ga. App. LEXIS 532 (July 15, 2014)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 94.03 [94.03]

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

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