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Mirian Garcia was employed by Cooper Cold Foods, Inc. as a custodian. On March 18, 2010, she was cleaning offices when she slipped going up some steps. Garcia fell onto her knee and put her hands down to stop herself.

Twenty-two medical reports prepared by seven individuals (Drs. Boyarski, Capen, Karlsson, Brickman, Zlotolow, Furman, and Musher) were excluded from the record by the workers’ compensation judge because the reporting persons were not a part of the “medical provider network” (MPN) provided by the employer. The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (appeals board) affirmed this decision.

On the same day of the appeals board’s decision, Second District Court of Appeal, issued its opinion and decision in Valdez v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd. (2012) 207 Cal.App.4th 1. The court held on pertinent facts identical to those in the present Garcia case that medical reports could not be excluded for the sole reason that they were prepared by persons not in the MPN. The Supreme Court granted review in Valdez and affirmed the Court of Appeals’ decision without any modifications.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision, the Court of Appeal issued a writ of review in Garcia vs WCAB and Midwest Insurance, informing the parties that it was inclined to annul the decision of the appeals board. It offered the parties an opportunity to file a stipulation which would allow this court, without filing of the record or any briefing, to annul the decision of the appeals board and to return the case to the appeals board to conduct additional proceedings that would conform to the decision and opinion in Valdez, supra, 57 Cal.4th 1231. The parties have not filed such a stipulation.

The decision of the appeals board denying Garcia’s petition for reconsideration was annulled. The case was remanded with directions to rule upon the admissibility of the heretofore excluded medical reports, and any further medical reports and records Garcia may wish to introduce into evidence. In ruling upon the admissibility of medical evidence, the workers’ compensation judge and the appeals board are to be guided by Valdez, supra, 57 Cal.4th 1231.