A machine operator sustained injuries to his heart and lungs. The internal IME determined the applicant was 100% disabled with 20% apportioned to the non-industrial effects of air pollution from living in the Los Angeles Basin. The Trial Judge followed the IME reporting, with the applicant filing for reconsideration.

In Lefiell Manufacturing Co. v. WCAB (Maxton) 2019 Cal.Wrk.Comp.LEXIS 113, the WCAB concluded the 20% apportionment to poor air quality was not supported by substantial evidence in that the IME did not state how the poor air quality impacted the applicant's disability, failed to state what scientific evidence supported his opinions, and did not explain how the 20% apportionment was determined. Therefore, since the defense did not meet their burden of proof regarding apportionment, the applicant was deemed 100% industrially disabled.

[COMMENT: Certainly there is no doubt the LA Basin smog can have negative health effects. The WCAB may have upheld the IME's opinion if the doctor had cited any sources regarding the impact of smog on someone like the applicant, and provided some rationale basis for the apportionment.]