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Texas Supreme Court Addresses Workers’ Compensation Matter

The Texas Supreme Court recently reversed a decision in a workers’ compensation matter.

September 07, 2015

(press release: cdklawyers) // Dallas, Texas, United States // Keith Clouse

The Texas Supreme Court recently reversed a decision in a workers’ compensation matter. Dallas Nat’l Ins. Co. v. De La Cruz, No. 13-0814 (Tex. Aug. 28, 2015), available at http://www.txcourts.gov/media/1053580/130814.pdf. The employee worked as a cook when she fell, injuring her knee and back. She filed a claim, alleging that her fall caused the total and permanent loss of use of both her feet at or above the ankles. The intermediary appellate court affirmed the trial court’s conclusion that the employee’s injury resulted in a total and permanent loss and awarded lifetime injury benefits.

The Court reversed because the employee’s evidence was insufficient. For total loss of use to be compensable, the loss must have resulted from injury to the part of the body itself—instead of from injury to another part of the body. Here, the evidence was piecemeal and consisted of unexplained statements in various medical records. Without evidence of damage to the plaintiff’s feet at or above the ankles and without evidence that the injury caused the permanent total loss of use, the plaintiff could not meet the statutory requirements to recover compensation.

This article is presented by the Dallas employment attorneys at Clouse Dunn LLP. To speak to an employment law attorney about workplace issues, send an email to debra@clousedunn.com or call (214) 239-2705.