Home > Defenses > A Rejected Theory of Causation

A Rejected Theory of Causation

California Workers’ Compensation law allows the injured worker to recover not only for the actual injury sustained, but also many of the consequences that follow from the impetus of the injury.  An injured right knee turns into a bilateral knee claim, injured elbows can lead to psyche claims, and injured backs develop into compensable sleep disorders.  But, despite all evidence to the contrary, it appears that the “compensable consequences” is not a panacea for all of an applicant’s injuries, industrial or otherwise.

A recent writ-denied case rejected an applicant’s theory of causation of injury to his previously non-injured arm.

The case is that of Jantz v. Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (2011 Cal. Wrk. Comp. Lexis 119).  Jantz injured his legs, elbows, back, left arm and left shoulder.  Some time afterward, he fell at his granddaughter’s softball game because of uneven cement, injuring his right shoulder.

His theory of causation for the right shoulder as a compensable consequence?  If his left arm had not been in a sling, he would have been able to use his left arm to stop his fall.  The theory was squarely rejected as speculative.

Jantz will hopefully lend itself easily to other cases to defend against other compensable consequence claims.

Categories: Defenses
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