The Kentucky Court of Appeals recently rendered a to-be-published decision dealing with what constitutes a university evaluator per KRS 342.315. In Morrison v. The Home Depot, 2007-CA-002457-WC, the Court heard claimant’s case on his second appeal regarding whether Dr. Martyn Goldman qualified as a university evaluator under KRS 342.315, which provides for referral of claimants to a university evaluator whose decisions are given presumptive weight in workers’ compensation proceedings. In Morrison, the claimant had been referred for a .315 evaluation with Dr. Goldman as a result of persisting questions regarding claimant’s shoulder. Morrison moved to strike Goldman’s report alleging he was not employed by a university medical school and, thus, did not qualify as a university evaluator. The ALJ denied the motion and relied on Goldman in rendering his opinion.
Morrison then launched his first appeal. The Kentucky Supreme Court reversed and remanded to the ALJ for additional proceedings since the record was silent on whether Goldman was affiliated with a university medical school as required by KRS 342.315. Morrison v. The Home Depot, 197 S.W.3d 531 (Ky. 2006).
On remand, the evidence established that while Goldman had an affiliation with a private medical assessment clinic as an independent contractor, he still qualified as a university evaluator under KRS 342.315 because he was affiliated with the University of Louisville Medical School as a non-tenured professor and had been so since 1961. The medical school had not contracted with the private assessment clinic for the evaluation; it had contracted with Goldman. The ALJ again found Goldman qualified as a .315 evaluator.
Morrison again appealed alleging that because the appointment was made through a private clinic it violated KRS 342.315. A majority of the Workers’ Compensation Board upheld the ALJ’s ruling, finding there was no evidence that the medical school had contracted with the private clinic and there was substantial evidence that Goldman was an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and on the staff of the University of Louisville Medical School.
The Court of Appeals concurred, finding that Dr. Goldman was affiliated with the University of Louisville School of Medicine and may therefore serve as a university evaluator under KRS 342.315.
All judges concurred.