Workers’ Compensation – Reduced Earnings (2002)
Injuries involving the neck, back, heart or lung function, concussions, traumatic brain injury, psychological injury can result in permanent partial disability. Injuries to limbs may also fall into this category if the condition is unstable (like a knee that buckles), progressive (like severe arthritis), or chronically painful (like a person who develops reflex sympathetic dystrophy (now known as chronic regional pain syndrome).
Our client was a licensed practical nurse who was permanently partially disabled, but returned to work at a reduction in earnings. She later moved to Tennessee, where she continued to work at reduced earnings. The Workers’ Compensation Board terminated her payments, finding that her reduced earnings were due to her move to Tennessee, instead of her disability.
We appealed the Board’s decision, and the Appellate Division, Third Department reversed, finding that there was no evidence to support the Board’s decision and also that it was contrary to the law. The Board later made an award of the benefits required for reduced earnings.