No permanent impairment awarded despite invasive shoulder surgery.
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No permanent impairment awarded despite invasive shoulder surgery. Claimant sustained an injury to his shoulder while working for his employer, which ultimately required surgery. During surgery part of a frayed labrum was removed in addition to freeing a bone spur, among other things. His doctor opined that he did not sustain a permanent impairment, and shortly thereafter the claimant voluntarily retired and never looked for permanent employment. At hearing the Deputy found that the claimant did not sustained a permanent impairment, and was not entitled to industrial disability.
On appeal, the claimant argued that it was error to determine he sustained no permanent impairment because he underwent a surgical procedure, and the AMA Guides definition of impairment includes "derangement of bodily structures." When upholding the Deputy and the Commissioner, the Supreme Court noted that the Guides are not conclusive evidence on the extent of a permanent impairment, and furthermore, because this was an unscheduled member injury, industrial disability applied which required analyzing several factors, including: age, education, qualifications, experience and his inability, because of the injury, to engage in employment for which he is fitted. Because factors other than the AMA Guides are considered when awarding industrial disability, the Court affirmed the decision finding that he did not sustain a permanent impairment.
Contact one of our workers' compensation lawyers at the Klass Law Firm, L.L.P., today to discuss your case and needs. Call 800-613-7989 ext. 242.