Case name: Geoghegan v. Northwest Airlines, 24 MIWCLR 112 (Mich. W.C.A.C. 2010).
Ruling: The Michigan Workers' Compensation Appellate Commission affirmed the magistrate's decision granting an open award of benefits to the plaintiff, a flight attendant who alleged work-related bilateral knee conditions.
What it means: The hobby of woodworking, which might include knowledge of building cabinets and furniture and experience in using tools, might well create transferable skills. However, an interest in woodworking or "thinking about" woodworking as a future career does not create transferable skills.
Summary: The commission affirmed the magistrate's decision granting an open award of benefits to the plaintiff, a flight attendant who alleged work-related bilateral knee conditions. On appeal, the defendant claimed that the last-day-worked injury date of January 2005 was not a proper injury date. While the defendant correctly pointed out that the plaintiff suffered a specific event injury Sept. 10, 2004, which caused a left knee meniscal tear, both the lay and the medical testimony also supported a finding of a worsening of the knee condition through the last day of work. Next, the commission noted that although the plaintiff had preexisting congenital or developmental varus deformities of her knees that predisposed her to arthritic changes, the plaintiff's proof clearly established that her work caused medically distinguishable knee conditions and not a natural progression of the underlying condition.
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November 15, 2010
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