WORKERS COMP – No error by ALJ in reopening claim later than 2 year window, medical benefits awarded affirmed: Ranger Contracting v. Morley (COA 8/28/2009)

Ranger Contracting v. Morley
2008-CA-001037 8/28/09 2009 WL 2707394

Opinion by Judge Nickell; Judges Caperton and Keller concurred.

The Court affirmed an order of the Workers’ Compensation Board affirming an ALJ’s award of medical benefits to a worker and his treating physician following the reopening of a claim resulting from a disputed medical fee. The Court held that the ALJ did not err in allowing the reopening of the claim outside the two-year statutory window provided by KRS 342.185(1). The doctor’s medical opinion alone, that the worker’s recurring back pain was a consequence of the injuries he sustained in the work-related fall and claimed prior to the original award, was substantial evidence upon which the ALJ could reasonably find a causal connection between the back pain and the originally claimed work-related injuries. Therefore, the medical treatment for back pain was compensable under KRS 342.020. The Court further held that the ALJ properly determined that the motion to reopen for medical benefits associated with his ongoing back pain was not barred by the two-year statute of limitations. KRS 342.185 does not require workers to timely provide notice and file claims for all known symptoms but only for all known conditions.

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