Treating physician’s testimon given no greater weight in workers compensation claim: ANDREA SUE SWEENEY v. KING’S DAUGHTERS MEDICAL CENTER (SC 8/21/2008)

ANDREA SUE SWEENEY v. KING’S DAUGHTERS MEDICAL CENTER
WORKERS COMP: Treating physician’s testimony not to be given greater weight
2007-SC-000885-WC.pdf
PUBLISHED: AFFIRMING
OPINION OF THE COURT
DATE RENDERED: 8/21/2008; 9/17/2008

An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) dismissed the claimant’s application for benefits, finding that she failed to show a permanent, work-related injury. The Workers’ Compensation Board and the Court of Appeals affirmed. Appealing, the claimant argues that Kentucky should adopt a rule that gives the opinions of a treating physician greater weight than those of an examining physician. She also argues that the ALJ misconstrued the law regarding pre-existing injuries and failed to support the decision with substantial evidence.

SCOKY affirmed hold neither Chapter 342 nor the applicable regulations affords greater weight to a treating physician’s testimony. Substantial evidence supported the decision under a correct interpretation of the law.  KRS 342.185 gives the ALJ the sole authority to judge the weight, credibility, and inferences to be drawn from the evidence of record.  Chapter 342 and the regulations continue to be silent regarding the weight to be afforded a treating physician’s testimony. We construe that silence as a legislative intent to give it no particular weight .

Briefs:

Appellant’s Brief

Appellee’s Brief

COA DECISION: 2007CA00654

Digested by Michael Stevens

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