Saldana v Color Spot Nurseries

Occasionally, the Courts enable the perpetuation of gamesmanship. In Saldana v Color Spot Nurseries 2017 Cal.Wrk. Comp. P.D. 46, the employee asserted four Applications alleging injury AOE/COE to multiple body parts. Dr. Ross was used as the panel QME. He issued a report detrimental to Saldana’s interests. Predictably, the employee’s attorney sought to block admissibility of the QME report on the ground that no certified interpreter was utilized during the exam. During the course of trial, Dr. Ross’ deposition transcript was admitted in the evidentiary record in which he testified that he spoke Spanish fluently. Of course, Saldana claimed that he couldn’t understand the QME. Additionally, the Court noted that Dr. Ross never provided the name of the person who completed the medical questionnaire, which would appear to have been a clerical task. Based on this evidence, the Court held that Saldana would be entitled to a replacement QME panel, despite the fact the objection to his findings on the basis that the physician failed to comply with Labor Code Section 4628 occurred more than seven years after issuance of the report. This decision was affirmed by the WCAB. 

Sufficient safeguards against gamesmanship are located throughout the Labor Code and California Code of Regulations. They should always be utilized in order to prevent results that are incompatible with justice.

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