The Case of the Missing Comma

The Case of the Missing Comma
by Donald R. Barthel, Esq.
Effective January 1, 2005, California's newest Permanent Disability Rating Schedule (PDRS) began to be implemented. This PDRS is used to convert impairment (obtained via the AMA Guides) into PD. This conversion takes place by adjusting for diminished future earning capacity (FEC), occupation, and age.

As we all know, the 2005 PDRS/AMA Guides tend to result in significantly less PD than did the 1997 PDRS. Thus, huge battles are raging all over California as applicants push to have their cases rated via the old 1997 PDRS, while defendants push to apply the AMA Guides/2005 PDRS. As these battles continue, there is a recurring theme. Applicants argue there are three exceptions that permit a pre-1/1/05 date of injury to be evaluated using the 1997 PDRS; defendants assert that there are only two such exceptions.