Loudoun County v. Richardson (P)

The Workers’ Compensation Commission properly awarded permanent partial disability benefits to a claimant who was injured during his employment by Loudoun County as a fire department battalion chief. As a result of his injury, he received a total hip replacement.

Code § 65.2-503 enumerates the body parts eligible for compensation under the Act. Although legs are listed in the statute, hips are not. But here, the medical evidence supports the Commission’s finding that the claimant’s hip injury manifested in a functional loss of use to his leg. Thus, the Commission didn’t err in determining that the claimant’s hip injury that manifested in his leg was compensable.

Moreover, functional loss of use is measured by a claimant’s impairment before the implantation of a corrective device. Nothing in the Workers’ Compensation Act indicates that loss of use to a leg or other extremity should be measured after the necessary implantation of a mechanical device. Although advancements in medical technology may ultimately warrant a different analysis for prosthetic joints, any such change in the law is within the province of the legislature.

Affirmed.

Loudoun County v. Richardson (P), No. 1533-18-4, Apr. 16, 2019. CAV (O’Brien) from Va. WCC.



Categories: Court of Appeals of Virginia, Opinions, Published

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