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Paul Cruz v. Mercedes-Benz of SF/Intercare Ins. Co. (Cruz)

September 5, 2007 The new workers compensation law only allows injured workers to receive 2 years of temporary disability benefits. However, if an injured worker has an amputation performed on his body or if an amputation occurred by trauma, then that injured worker may receive benefits beyond 2 years. The Court in this case defined the word "amputation".

The Board held that the word "amputations," as used in Labor Code 4656(c)(2)(C) means "the severance or removal of a limb, part of a limb, or other body appendage, including both traumatic loss in an industrial injury and surgical removal during treatment of an industrial injury."

This definition "encompasses external projecting body parts, not internal parts, even if they include bone."

Therefore, the Court found that Paul Cruz's back surgery did not qualify as an "amputation" because there had been no severance or removal of a body appendage. Thus, applicant was not entitled to additional temporary disability beyond 2 years.

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