Workers’ Compensation

Ca. Workers' Comp. Quarterly 2014, Vol. 27, No. 2

Post–SB 863 Permanent Disability Rating Schedule Rebuttal: The Return to Simplicity

MARK E. GEARHEART, ESQ.

Pleasant Hill, California

There has been a renewed discussion recently within the workers’ compensation legal community regarding the contours of rebutting the Permanent Disability Rating Schedule (PDRS) in the post-SB 863 era. While the Guzman approach (Milpitas Unified School District v. Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (Guzman) (2010) 75 Cal. Comp.Cases 837) of analogizing within the four corners of the AMA Guides to some alternative WPI rating scheme obviously remains intact, there are those who again question the extent to which the parties may use expert vocational and labor market evidence to prove a more accurate rating than the one estimated by the PDRS. Some have even gone as far as suggesting that there is no rebuttal for post-January 1, 2013, cases.

However, as with SB 899, the foes of rating accuracy have once again misinterpreted the clear language of the statutory changes. In fact, as discussed in this article, the injured worker’s right to obtain an accurate rating has never been clearer.

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