Gravlin v. City of Vista (BPD) (2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.d. LEXIS 413)
The Appeals Board affirmed the WCJ’s finding that applicant’s employment as a firefighter caused one single cumulative injury in the form of skin cancer and heart condition/hypertension, causing a combined permanent disability is 74%.
The WCAB rejected defendant’s assertion that applicant had two separate dates of injury pursuant to Labor Code §5412, one for his heart/hypertension and another to his skin in the form of skin cancer.
Defendant argued for two different dates of injury because applicant’s condition became permanent and stationary for each of the injuries at a different time. The WCAB held that when separate disabilities arise out of a single injury they are rated together, even if those disabilities do not become permanent stationary at the same time. The WCAB held that generally where employee suffers contemporaneous injury to different body parts over extended periods of time, employee has suffered one cumulative injury.
That there can be separate periods of cumulative injury over extended employment, if the employment caused compensable temporary or permanent disability, followed by returned to work and new an additional temporary permanent or temporary disability.
The WCAB held there was no evidence in this case establishing separate periods of disability.
Although the applicant continued to work until 2005 there was no evidence that the applicant suffered any new injurious exposure after he was declared permanent and stationary in 2002.