California Supreme Court Denies Review of Ruling on TD Benefit Statutory Cap

The California Supreme Court has decided not to review a 4th District Court of Appeal decision placing a five-year statutory cap on temporary disability benefit duration. The case in question involved San Diego Deputy Sheriff Kyle Pike, who injured his shoulder in July 2010 and received TD benefits through July 2016. Pike argued that his injury had worsened, and requested TD benefits extending beyond the five year statute.

A controversial ruling at first allowed the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board to award TD benefits beyond the five year statute, however in March, the 4th District Court of Appeal decided that legislative history of the statute affirmed otherwise. Since 2007, AB 338 has allowed an injured worker up to 104 weeks of TD benefits over a five-year period from the date of injury. An earlier 3rd District Court of Appeal decision (Radesky v. City of Los Angeles) similarly ruled that a claim extending beyond this period was prohibited by statute.

The court decided that, although it is meant to view workers’ comp statutes flexibly in favor of applicants, this flexibility cannot override fundamental statutory rules. Pike appealed this decision in April, and it has been denied review by the Supreme Court.