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Workers' Compensation

New York: Board Appropriately Ordered Claimant to Be Weaned from High Dose of Opioids

A decision by the New York Board that directed an injured worker to begin a weaning process from his long-term opioid prescription treatment program was supported by substantial evidence, held a state appellate court. The worker’s claim was established for an occupational disease of the back in 2003. He underwent surgery in 2005 and continued to seek medical treatment for chronic pain for many years thereafter. The employer’s carrier sought an order directing that claimant be weaned from opioid medications based upon the medical opinion of an IME, who conducted a pharmacological chart review of claimant’s medications and determined that weaning was appropriate based upon the Workers’ Compensation Board’s Non-Acute Pain Medical Treatment Guidelines (see 12 NYCRR 324.2[a][6]. The worker’s physician generally acknowledged those medical facts, but countered that the worker had been tolerant to a high dosage of opioids over a long period of time and he warned that weaning him could result in increased blood pressure and other medical problems. The court stressed that it was for the Board to resolve the conflict in medical opinion and it had done so.

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 Matter of Forte v. Muccini, 2020 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1924 (3d Dept., Mar. 16, 2020)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 130.05.

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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