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Workers' Compensation

Georgia: Res Judicata No Bar to Re-Thinking Medical Treatment

A Georgia appellate court held the doctrine of res judicata could not be utilized by the employer to block consideration of whether an injured employee should be potentially treated with a spinal cord stimulator in spite of an earlier ruling by an ALJ that the evidence did not establish that such a stimulator was medically reasonable for the employee. Observing that the course of medical treatment in workers' compensation claims was generally fluid and could evolve over time, particularly where, as here, there had been a change in the authorized treating physician, the court reversed a decision of the state superior court that found the earlier ALJ's order was binding. The appellate court also stressed that the earlier ALJ order had denied the request for a spinal cord stimulator at that time.

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

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Trejo-Valdez v. Associated Agents, 2020 Ga. App. LEXIS 631 (Oct. 29, 2020)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 127.07.

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

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see

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