Court of Appeals case could allow increased exposure for spine claims.

A recent Court of Appeals case could allow increased exposure for spine claims with radiculopathy. In Beckman v. Sysco Columbia, LLC, Op. No. 5205, Ct. App. March 19, 2014, the Court of Appeals held Claimant was entitled to be considered for a wage loss award pursuant to Section 42-9-20 rather than only a scheduled member award pursuant to Section 42-9-30. Claimant received a 10% impairment to the back and a 5% impairment to the SI joint. The Commission awarded Claimant a 25% disability to the back. Claimant had a normal EMG but also had continued, subjective complaints of pain in the buttock, hip, thigh and foot. Accordingly, the Court of Appeals found Claimant sustained injuries to more than one body part and was thus entitled to consideration of a wage loss award. 

As the case stands, Claimants could be entitled to wage loss awards for multiple body parts as a result of injuries to the back because of  symptoms in the arms or legs based only on subjective complaints.  

Defendants have until April 18, 2014 to file a Petition for Rehearing before the Court of Appeals. If the Petition is denied, Defendants can file for a Writ of Certiorari requesting the Supreme Court to hear the case.

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