MICHAEL SCHWAMB v. BRIDGESTONE AMERICAS TIRE OPERATIONS, LLC (TWCA August 10, 2011)
In this workers' compensation case, the employee had a compensable back injury in 2008. His doctor assigned 19% permanent anatomical impairment for the injury, based upon the Sixth Edition of the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.
He had previously settled a claim for a compensable back injury in 1996. That injury resulted in a 15% permanent impairment according to the Fourth Edition of the Guides, then in effect.
Based upon those ratings, the treating physician for the 2008 injury apportioned 4% of the total 19% impairment to the more recent injury. An evaluating physician used the Sixth Edition to rate both injuries and opined that the impairment for the 2008 injury was 13% to the body as a whole.
The trial court adopted the evaluating physician's rating and based its award of permanent disability benefits on it. The employer has appealed, arguing that the trial court erred by adopting the evaluating physician's rating. We affirm the judgment.
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