The Appellate Group

Wright v. Labor Commission

Wright v. Labor Commission, 2021 UT App 43 (Pohlman, J.)

Workers Compensation

In 2007, an employee had an accident at work that injured his back and sought to recover workers’ compensation benefits. The administrative law judge (ALJ) appointed a medical panel of two doctors to assess the employee’s claim. The medical panel concluded that the 2007 accident was a temporary aggravation of a preexisting back condition. The ALJ adopted that conclusion and denied workers’ compensation benefits for the 2012 surgery. The Labor Commission affirmed. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed, holding:

  • Although the physicians on the medical panel had generalist backgrounds, they were not unqualified to render an opinion in this case because they had extensive experience in treating the conditions at issue. Additionally, substantial evidence supported the commission’s findings that the accident caused only temporary aggravation of the employee’s preexisting condition.

Read the full court opinion