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Thursday, March 12, 2009

AMA Guides Tossed Aside in California

The California Workers Compensation Appeals Board has ruled that the 2005 version of the AMA Guides to Impairment need not be followed. The Court ruled:

(1) the AMA Guides portion of the 2005 Schedule is rebuttable;
(2) the AMA Guides portion of the 2005 Schedule is rebutted by showing that an impairment rating based on the AMA Guides would result in a permanent disability award that would be inequitable, disproportionate, and not a fair and accurate measure of the employee’s permanent disability; and
(3) when an impairment rating based on the AMA Guides has been rebutted, the WCAB may make an impairment determination that considers medical opinions that are not based or are only partially based on the AMA Guides.

Almarz v Environmental Recovery, et al
Case No. ADJ1078163 (BAK 0145426) Decided Feb. 3, 2009

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