Applied Materials v. WCAB (2021) involves an applicant who sustained injuries to her neck, upper extremities and psych, only to then be sexually assaulted over several years by the treating psychiatrist. The case is factually and legally complex as evident by the 77 page decision, with the two main take-aways being:
  1. The disability arising from the actions of the treating psychiatrist constituted a compensable consequence of the initial work injury.
  2. Upheld the decision in Dept. of Corrections & Rehabilitation v. WCAB (Fitzpatrick) (2018) 27 Cal.App.5th 607 in that a WCJ can decide in a pre-2013 DOI case that an applicant is 100% disabled "in accordance with the fact" under L.C. 4662(b); however, that determination must be consistent with L.C. 4660 which requires application of the PDRS in determining PD, and then showing how the PDRS is rebutted through one of the acceptable methods which then allows for the application of L.C. 4662(b).

In this case, the QME psych gave a 40% WPI which he felt was sufficient impairment to warrant the applicant being 100% disabled from the labor market. The Appeals Court noted the QME was not a vocational expert to assess the labor market, his rationale of 40% = 100% contradicted the PDRS, and there was no rebuttal to the PDRS such that no basis existed for the WCJ to award 100% PD under LC 4662(b).

[COMMENT: As a result of Applied Materials being authorized for publication, there are now two different Court of Appeals decisions showing how LC 4660 and 4662(b) work together and not as separate or "alternative" methods to determine PD for injuries prior to 2013.]