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When there is a preexisting condition, the injured worker must prove a higher standard legal causation in order to receive workers compensation benefits.  This was established in the Allen case and is, therefore, referred to as the Allen Test.  In the past any mention of a preexisting condition or even treatment for the same body part 20 years prior to the accident seemed to be enough to trigger the higher standard.

Kenny Atkin took this problem up on appeal.  The case involved a worker that was denied benefits solely due to the existence of a preexisting condition. However, this decision clarified that the insurance company/employer has the burden of proof to show a preexisting condition contributed to the injury in order for any higher standard to apply.  This means that prior injuries or treatment that did not make the injured worker prone to the industrial injury no longer trigger the higher standard under the Allen Test.  This victory not only provided benefits to our client, but also paved the way for an ultimately successful Permanent Total Disability claim.

(Utah Auto Auction and/or American Home Assurance v. Labor Commission and Douglas R. Davis, 2008 UT App 293).
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