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Gary Atkin

Posts: 10

A worker was injured in an automobile accident while driving a truck for his employment.  He claimed the accident aggravated a congenital spine condition, leading to chronic pain and other disabilities.  After the accident, he continued to work for his employer but, more than four years afterward, he decided that his symptoms were no longer manageable and requested assignment to  less physically demanding job.  When the employer replied that a suitable lighter duty position was not available, the employee quit. He then applied for workers compensation benefits based on the fact that his condition had deteriorated to a point that he could no longer work.  While various doctors disagreed, he testified regarding his conditions and all of the problems they posed, which precluded him from performing other work.  The ALJ initially denied his claim and the Commission sent the case back for further hearing and submission to a medical panel.  After reviewing the case again, in light of the medical panel opinion, the ALJ determined that benefits should be awarded.  The commission agreed that the employee was entitled to permanent total disability benefits and the Court of Appeals also agreed.  Provo City v. Labor Comm'n and Serrano, 345 P. 3d 1242 (Utah, 2015)

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