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Reminder - Don't Blindly Split the Difference on SLUs

In recent months we have seen quite a few stipulations, prepared by claimant's counsel and signed by our clients that "split the difference" on SLU opinions, even when both the attending physician and IME have misapplied the guidelines. Our readers may recall that we discussed this in March 2020 when we reminded our readers that the Appellate Division's decision in Parody v. Old Dominion Freight held that the Board is not bound by the medical opinions of schedule loss of use (SLU) in the record and may fashion its own SLU assessment based on the medical evidence and the impairment guidelines if the ultimate result is supported by the record, even if the percentage loss of use awarded has not been given by any medical expert in the record. Thus, a physician's failure to follow the procedure described in the Impairment Guidelines for determining SLU can be used to obtain significant savings on the SLU award in some cases.

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