Sershen v. Metropolitan CouncilAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part the decision of the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals (WCCA) affirming the decision of the compensation judge finding that Respondent sustained an occupational disease of hearing loss and ordering Relator to pay medical benefits under Minn. Stat. 176.135, subd. 5, holding that further proceedings were required.
Respondent developed hearing loss after a career of handling occupational safety and health compliance and monitoring workplace noise levels. Respondent filed a claim for workers' compensation benefits against Relator, his most recent employer. The compensation judge ruled in favor of Respondent and denied his claim for permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. The WCCA affirmed and clarified that the PPD issue was moot because of a Pierringer settlement between Respondent and one of his former employers. The Supreme Court remanded the case, holding (1) the occupational disease finding was supported by the evidence; (2) the award of medical benefits was appropriate under Minn. Stat. 176.135, subd. 5; and (3) the compensation judge did not properly apply the Pierringer settlement precedent, potentially prejudicing Relator's interests.