Jesse Peck, Senior Managing Attorney of SRTK’s Orange office recently won at trial, securing a very positive outcome for our client in a case involving multiple claims that could have resulted in a combined rating and Life Pension benefits. The trial judge found in our favor (through our Trial Brief & Memorandum of Points & Authorities), that Applicant’s prostate cancer (with 17% chance of recurrence) was not an “insidious & progressive disease process.” Applicant filed Cumulative Trauma (CT) alleging prostate cancer, and a separate claim with a different attorney alleging skin cancer and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), both with virtually the same dates. The prostate cancer claim was not ADR, while the skin cancer and PTSD claim was. Applicant Attorney argued that the cancer Award should be exempted from statutes of limitations for filing a petition to reopen per Labor Code sections 5804 and 5401, which would have allowed the ratings for both claims to be combined.
Jesse outmaneuvered the Applicant Attorney and quickly stipulated the ADR claim at 47% PPD (valued at $72,500), thus effectively stipulating to the CT end date, which was slightly different than the non-ADR claim of prostate cancer. Jesse then secured Applicant’s stipulation to the date of injury for the prostate cancer claim, and on the pre-trial conference statement at the time that claim was set for trial. The trial Court appropriately accepted those dates, thus ensuring that the claims could not be merged. The non-ADR claim of prostate cancer resulted in Findings & Award of 39% PPD (valued at $56,260).
The two claims, if combined, would have resulted in a rating of 69% and there would have undoubtedly been attempts to draw the claim into the Life Pension range, as Applicant would only require a 1% increase in his Partial Permanent Disability (PPD) rating to reach that threshold. Our client saved all potential Life Pension benefits, which would have been quite costly.
Great work, Jesse!