A Pennsylvania appellate court held that the state’s Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board appropriately reversed a WCJ’s order granting claimant’s petition for specific loss of the use of the right index finger, where the claimant presented evidence that following a work-related injury involving a circular saw, he continued to have pain in his finger and had difficulty with some hand actions such as writing, playing guitar, picking up things, and getting dressed, but failed to offer any evidence that his condition was permanent in nature. The court observed that when a claimant seeks specific loss benefits for an injury, he or she has the burden of proving that he or she has permanently lost the use of the injured body part for all practical intents and purposes. Whether a claimant has lost the use of a body part, and the extent of that loss of use, is a question of fact for the workers’ compensation judge. Whether an injury has resulted in the permanent loss of the use of a member, such as a hand, is a question of fact. Whether the loss is for all practical intents and purposes is a question of law.
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 Morocho v. Workers’ Comp. Appeal Bd. (Home Equity Renovations, Inc.), 2017 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 554 (Aug. 3, 2017)
See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 86.04.
Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law