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The difference between a specific injury and cumulative injury

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The widow filed a petition for reconsideration. She alleged the following:

  • The judge should have relied on evidence about the firefighter’s date of injury in late 2016 to determine the issues.
  • Anthony proved that he was a total dependant through credible testimony and through documentary evidence showing that he had no earnings in 2015 and 2016.
  • The possibility that Anthony lived for short periods of time in other locations where he supposedly had unreported earnings was irrelevant.
  • Alejandro was a partial dependant, as shown by the trial testimony.
  • Alejandro’s and her own testimony proved persistent financial need despite regular earnings.
  • Alejandro used funds from his late father to pay for customary daily living expenses.

Judge to revisit the issues

In the case of Murrieta, Irene (Reuben Murrieta-Dec.) vs. Ventura County Fire Department, Permissibly Self-Insured, a panel of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board of California canceled the decision of the judge. The panel returned the case to the trial level for further proceedings and for a new determination of the date of cumulative trauma injury under section 5412 of California’s Labor Code.

The dependency of the two adult sons was the issue in this case. Under section 3502 of the Code, the tribunal should determine questions of entire or partial dependency and questions of who are dependants and the extent of their dependency in accordance with the facts as they exist at the time of the employee’s injury.

Under section 5412 of the Code, the date of injury for a cumulative injury case is that date when the employee first suffered disability due to the injury and knew or should have known that the employment caused the disability.

If the dependency case involves a cumulative trauma injury resulting in death, the time of the employee’s injury will be the same as the date of the cumulative trauma injury determined under section 5412, the panel said.

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