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March 2012 Archives

Workers' Comp: Can an Employer Have its Injured Worker Declared Permanently and Totally Disabled?

In the recent case of Pait v. Southeastern Gen'l Hosp., an employer asked the Industrial Commission to declare its injured worker permanently and totally disabled. This effort by the employer may seem counter-intuitive, but the reason for it is clear. A declaration of permanent disability starts the time limit for a 'death claim,' under which the dependents of a worker who dies from his injury or disease can obtain benefits.

But does an employer even have the right to have an injured worker declared permanently and totally disabled? Shouldn't the worker have the exclusive right to pursue the benefits she wants. In Pait, the Court of Appeals answered these questions.

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