Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Published:09/30/2014

He developed dermatitis in his right hand due to his use of a wood stain that Knepper would spray on wood. The stain caused his hand to become infected, to develop MRSA, and eventually to lose sensation.

Knepper was found by the ALJ to be permanently and totally disabled. Because of the loss of sensation in his hand, because of his below normal IQ and limited education, and because of expert testimony, the ALJ found that he could not compete on the open labor market.

The issue before the commission was whether the ALJ’s determination was supported by competent and substantial evidence. The commission found that it was.

Knepper also suffered from dizzy spells, emphysema, congestive heart failure, and neuropathy of his lower extremities. The ALJ did not consider these conditions in the ruling, but at least one dissenting commissioner cites these as the only reasons that Knepper was permanently and totally disabled. Because they were unrelated to the work injury to Knepper’s hand, the dissenting commissioner would have not found him permanently and totally disabled. However, the ALJ and the rest of the commission did not factor those issues into the decision that Knepper was permanently and totally disabled.