WORKERS COMP: Pre-existing dormant condition — COMAIR, INC. V. HELTON (COA 11/14/2008)

COMAIR, INC. V. HELTON
WORKERS COMP:  Pre-existing dormant condition
2007-CA-002332
PUBLISHED: AFFIRMING
PANEL: NICKELL PRESIDING; CLAYTON, TAYLOR CONCUR
DATE RENDERED: 11/14/2008

The primary issue in this appeal was whether the Board erred in reversing the ALJ’s decision to not award benefits for a pre-existing condition. The Board’s decision pointed out that while everyone agrees that there was a pre-existing condition in Mr. Helton’s knee, no witness testified that it was an active condition or that it was a ratable condition before the work injury. Helton’s witness said it was a dormant condition. The COA noted that dormant conditions aroused by a work injury have been compensable in Kentucky since 1924. The defense had the burden of proving a pre-existing condition that was active and ratable immediately prior to the work injury. Since the defense doctors did not address those issues, and the other testimony was that the pre-existing condition was dormant, the evidence compelled a finding in Helton’s favor. The COA held that the board was correct in reversing the ALJ.

By Jeffery A. Roberts 

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