On March 18, 2015, Margaret Nadey submitted a Workers’ Compensation Form DWC-1 to her employer Pleasant Valley State Prison, claiming injury to her right shoulder. She later filed an application for adjudication, claiming she suffered a specific injury to her shoulders and lower extremities on November 11, 2014 while employed by defendant as a nurse.
Defendant sent Nadey a letter stating: “Pursuant to Labor Code section 4663(d), we hereby request disclosure of ALL permanent disabilities or physical impairments that existed prior to the injury.”
Labor Code section 4663(d) states: “An employee who claims an industrial injury shall, upon request, disclose all previous permanent disabilities or physical impairments.”
After Nadey and her attorney failed to respond, defendant filed a Motion to Compel, seeking to compel applicant to respond to the letters it had sent. The WCJ issued a ruling denying the Motion to Compel and the defendant filed a Petition for Removal. A panel reversed and remanded the issue in the case of Nadey v Pleasant Valley State Prison.
The Report of the WCJ in opposition to removal appeared to suggest that defendant should be required to depose applicant if defendant wishes to obtain information about applicant’s prior disabilities. The WCAB panel found “no support for this contention in the language of the statute, which states clearly and unequivocally that applicant “shall” disclose such information ‘upon request.’ “
The panel went on to note that “If the Legislature intended such information to be only discoverable at a deposition, it would not have worded the statute in the manner it did. Moreover, we see little sense in mandating that such a basic disclosure be accomplished via the costly and time-consuming method of taking a deposition.”
“We note that the Petition to Compel Disclosure does not include a timeframe for response, or mandate any particular method of response. We will therefore return the matter to the trial level for further proceedings. We suggest the parties confer among themselves and resolve the details amicably in a mutually satisfactory manner; if the parties cannot do so, they make seek a hearing before the WCJ, who can then determine the details of how applicant shall make the required Labor Code section 4663(d) disclosures.”