Causation: Wage Loss

Fellenberg v. Transportation Ins. Co., 2005 MT 90 Although a former employee of W. R. Grace had an injurious condition (asbestosis) that was one hundred percent attributable to his employment, undisputed facts demonstrated that his retirement was not related to his lung disease and he had no intention of returning to work after retirement. In this situation, the Workers’ Compensation Court correctly determined that claimant’s asbestosis did not result in a loss of actual earnings or earnings capability, meaning he was not entitled to permanent total disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, or an impairment award.

Jenkins v. State Fund [7/30/99] 1999 MTWCC 47 Nursesís aide with 1996 injury of left shoulder went back to work in modified job before reaching MMI. In 1997, she injured her right shoulder. Undisputed evidence indicated she was released to light duty following the first injury and remained at light duty following the second. When she sought PPD benefits (including percentages for wage loss, loss of labor capacity, and age) relating to each injury, the WCC held she was entitled only to such benefits for the first injury because that injury caused her wage loss. Where the 1997 injury caused no wage loss, and caused wage loss is a prerequisite for recovering PPD benefits other than an impairment award, her request for PPD percentages for wage loss, lost labor capacity, and age relating to the second injury was denied.