Contra Costa County v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd.Annotate this Case
Dahl sustained a cumulative industrial injury to her neck and right shoulder while employed by Contra Costa County as a medical records technician. The injuries resulted in surgeries and scarring. She was 49 years old and had worked for the county for over 8 years. Dahl has a bachelor’s degree and a felony conviction for possession and sale of methamphetamine. The Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board awarded Dahl a permanent disability rating of 79 percent. Dahl’s permanent disability rating on the California Permanent Disability Rating Schedule is 59 percent. Dahl sought to rebut that rating, arguing that she “will have a greater loss of future earnings than reflected in a rating because, due to the industrial injury, the employee is not amenable to rehabilitation.” The court of appeal annulled the award. Dahl’s “rebuttal” included no evidence that the injuries she sustained rendered her incapable of rehabilitation, but consisted solely of a vocational expert’s opinion that his method for determining Dahl’s diminished future earnings capacity produced a higher rating than the Schedule rating produced and that his method more accurately measured Dahl’s diminished future earnings. Dahl’s attempted rebuttal did not comport with any approved method for rebutting the presumptively-correct Schedule rating.