Richard Todd, a former police officer, sustained a cumulative trauma injury arising out of and in the course of his employment with the City of Los Angeles to his kidneys, heart, psyche, and in the form of hypertension during the period from January 1, 1990 through November 25, 2009.
A Findings and Award issued on March 6, 2012 against the employer of 64% permanent disability as a result of applicant’s injury to his kidneys, heart, and in the form of hypertension. After filing a petition to reopen, the parties stipulated to 68% permanent disability, In addition, there had been five prior stipulated awards in unrelated cases. Together, Todd made an argument for a 100% permanent disability award against the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund.
The WCJ found that the sum of applicant’s successive disabilities entitled applicant to permanent and total disability.
The sole issue presented by the SIBTF Petition for Reconsideration was whether the WCJ correctly combined applicant’s prior and subsequent permanent disabilities under section 4751 by adding them to find that applicant is permanently and totally disabled. The WCJ findings were affirmed in the en banc decision of Todd v Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund.
SIBTF is a state fund that provides benefits to employees with preexisting permanent disability who sustain subsequent industrial disability. The preexisting disability may be congenital, developmental, pathological, or due to either an industrial or nonindustrial accident. It must be “independently capable of supporting an award” of permanent disability, “as distinguished from [a] condition rendered disabling only as the result of ‘lighting up’ by the second injury.” There is no specific statute of limitations with respect to the filing of an application against SIBTF.
Once the threshold requirements are met, section L.C. 4751 provides that applicant “shall be paid in addition to the compensation due under this code for the permanent partial disability caused by the last injury compensation for the remainder of the combined permanent disability existing after the last injury . . . .”
The Court of Appeal’s decision in Bookout v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd. (1976) 62 Cal.App.3d 214 [41 Cal.Comp.Cases 595], addressed the issue of how to determine the “combined permanent disability” as specified in section 4751.
The use of the MDT or CVC to combine multiple impairments or permanent disabilities with respect to the rating of single injuries, but not to combine successive permanent disabilities related to prior and subsequent injuries under section 4751. Under section 4751, non-overlapping successive permanent disabilities are to be added.
SIBTF is liable, under section 4751, for the total amount of the “combined permanent disability,” less the amount due to applicant from the subsequent injury and less credits allowable under section 4753.