- Supreme Court Invalidates Impairment Rating: IRE Doc Didn’t Address Psychological Conditions Not Made Part of Work Injury Until After IR was Performed
- April 27, 2017 | Author: Francis X. Wickersham
- Law Firm: Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C. - King Of Prussia Office
Duffey v. WCAB (Trola-Dyne, Inc.); No. 4MAP 2016; Decided Jan. 19, 2017; Chief Justice Saylor
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed the Commonwealth Court, interpreting Section 306(a.2) of the Act much differently. As stated by the Supreme Court, under Section 306(a.2) and the applicable impairment guidelines, the IRE physician must exercise professional judgment in order to render appropriate decisions concerning both causality and apportionment. According to the court’s review of the evidentiary record, the IRE physician did not apply professional judgment to assess the psychological conditions identified by the claimant during the IRE examination, nor did the physician determine whether the conditions were fairly attributable to the claimant’s compensable injury. In the court’s view, the IRE physician ignored a range of potential diagnoses and impairments, and, for this reason, the Supreme Court held that the IRE was invalid.