Failure to prove wage loss dooms worker's claim for weekly benefits
Case name: Pitts v. General Motors Corp., 27 MIWCLR 35 (Mich. C.A.C. 2013).
The Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission held that a worker was not entitled to benefits.
What it means: In Michigan, where a worker fails to establish that her wage loss is due to the disability that arises out of and in the course of her employment, she is not entitled to an award of wage loss benefits.
A worker alleged that she sustained neck injuries, bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, and a brain aneurysm as a result of her factory work for the employer. The commission affirmed the magistrate's decision denying her benefits. While the facts and evidence could support a finding that the worker developed carpal tunnel syndrome and that it arose out of and in the course of her employment, there was no evidence that this resulted in a wage loss. The commission found that the worker's wage loss was related to dizziness, numbness, and complaints related to the aneurysm or subcranial bleeding condition that commenced during the time she was working and lasted until she quit work and took her pension.
The commission deferred to the magistrate's opinion that the aneurysm, despite the worker's complaints her work caused or contributed to it, was not the cause of her wage loss. Based on the medical testimony, it was an idiopathic condition that did not arise out of and in the course of the worker's employment and the establishment of a compensable incident.
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August 5, 2013
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