The Kentucky Court of Appeals, in Finley v. DBM Technologies, 2006-CA-001132-WC, (Jan. 26, 2007)(To be published), made it clear that the Administrative Law Judge had to specific find whether a pre-existing condition had been permanently or temporarily aroused. In the case, Finley had soliosis which was deemed a dormant pre-existing condition by the Court of Appeals based on undisputed medical evidence. However, the ALJ attributed certain treatments to work related arousal and but denied coverage of later treatments.
In Workers Compensation,
“a pre-existing condition that is both asymptomatic and produces no impairment prior to the work related injury constitutes a pre-existing dormant condition. When a pre-existing dormant condition is aroused into disabling reality by a work-related injury, any impairment or medical expense related solely to the pre-existing condition is compensable. A pre-existing condition may be either temporarily or permanently aroused. If the pre-existing condition completely reverts to its pre-injury dormant state, the arousal is considered temporary. If the pre-existing condition does not completely revert to its pre-injury dormant state, the arousal is considered permanent, rather than temporary.” Id.
In this case, the ALJ did not make a specific finding whether the arousal was permanent or temporary. So, if you are pursuing a workers’ compensation claim regarding a pre-existing condition, be sure request of the ALJ specific findings as to whether the pre-existing condtion was dormant and asymptomatic and whether it was a permanent arousal or temorary. This will save much time and effort.