Friday, July 25, 2003

No Suspension for Refusal of Medical Care that Offers a 50% Chance of Success

Alltel, Inc. v. WCAB (Baum) is a refusal of reasonable medical care case. The proposed surgery had an 80% chance of improving the Claimant's radicular pain, but only a 50% chance of resolving the Claimant's neck pain and headaches. The Commonwealth Court observed this translates into a 50% chance that the Claimant will return to work. The Court held as a matter of law that 50% does not represent a "high probability" of success. The Court affirmed the WCJ's denial of the Employer's suspension petition, which the Board had also affirmed.

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