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Decision Melanie Baldini v. Dept. of Mental Retardation/DMR3

Date: 11/16/2010
Organization: Department of Industrial Accidents
Docket Number: DIA Board No. 026572-05
Location: Boston
  • Employee: Melanie Baldini
  • Employer: Dept. of Mental Retardation/DMR3
  • Self Insurer: Commonwealth of Massachusetts

HORAN, J. The self-insurer appeals from an administrative judge's decision issued in response to our decision, and order of recommittal, in Baldini v. Department of Mental Retardation, 23 Mass. Workers' Comp. Rep. 159 (2009). In Baldini, we concluded the judge had failed to make findings on the properly raised defense of § 1 (7A)1 "major" causation. Id. In his second hearing decision, the judge found the employee had satisfied § 1 (7A)'s heightened causation standard applicable to combination injuries, and awarded the employee §§ 13, 30 and 34 benefits. On appeal, the self-insurer argues the decision is contrary to law, because the adopted medical evidence fails to carry the employee's burden of proof on causation. We agree, reverse the decision, and vacate the award of benefits.

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1 General Laws c. 152, § 1 (7A), provides, in pertinent part:

If a compensable injury or disease combines with a pre-existing condition, which resulted from an injury or disease not compensable under this chapter, to cause or prolong disability or a need for treatment, the resultant condition shall be compensable only to the extent such compensable injury or disease remains a major but not necessarily predominant cause of disability or need for treatment.