Michael Baker, vs. City Of Los Angeles; Permissibly Self- Insured,

This case involves Michael Baker, a police officer employed by the City of Los Angeles, who filed an Application for Adjudication of Claim alleging he sustained a cumulative trauma injury from September 23, 1985 through August 22, 2011. The City of Los Angeles contested the claim, raising the issues of the date of injury and the statute of limitations for the first time at trial. The Workers' Compensation Appeals Board denied the City of Los Angeles' Petition for Reconsideration, affirming the Findings and Award and finding that the City of Los Angeles had waived the issue of the date of injury by failing to timely raise it prior to the date of trial.

City Of Los Angeles; Permissibly Self- Insured, Michael Baker, WORKERS’ COMPENSATION APPEALS BOARDSTATE OF CALIFORNIAMICHAEL BAKER,Applicant,vs.CITY OF LOS ANGELES; Permissibly Self- Insured,Defendant.Case No. ADJ8590622(Van Nuys District Office)OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR RECONSIDERATION            Defendant, City of Los Angeles, permissibly self-insured, seeks reconsideration of the Findings and Award, issued December 29, 2016, in which a workers’ compensation administrative law judge (WCJ) found applicant Michael Baker sustained an industrial cumulative trauma injury, while employed as a police officer over the period September 23, 1985 through August 22, 2011, to his hearing (bilateral hearing loss and mild tinnitus), cervical spine, lumbar spine, bilateral knees and shoulders, right’ thumb and wrist, skin disorder (actinic keratosis and basal cell carcinoma). The WCJ awarded applicant indemnity based upon a finding of 73% permanent disability. The WCJ also found defendant raised the issues of the date of injury and the statute of limitations for the first time at trial, and also failed to meet its burden of proof on the statute of limitations issue.            Defendant contends the WCJ should have found separate dates of injury pursuant to Labor Code section 5412 for applicant’s skin disorder and hearing loss, as the injury to these body parts were not discovered until after the period of cumulative trauma claimed for his orthopedic injuries. Defendant further asserts that by contesting generally applicant’s claim that he sustained injury arising out of and occurring in the course of his employment, defendant did not need to specifically raise the Section 5412 date of injury issue, because the date of injury is a condition of compensability. Defendant also claims that the pre-trial conference statement form did not provide defendant with the opportunity to raise the issue that an alleged injury to a body part falls under a different date of injury.

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