Thursday, August 19, 2010
Partially Amputated Fingers are Stumps Court Says
The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled in the Leffler case to uphold the decision to add $4800.00 for partial amputation of the index and middle finger. The claimant had this happen while involved with a sod harvesting machine. This added benefit decision was appealed by the insurer by asserting that benefit only applied to "stumps" and fingers are not "stumps". The case is a simple and quick read but it amazes me that the insurer appealed. The cost to appeal to the Court of Appeals is far more then $4800.00 since it goes from the deciding judge to the Industrial Claim Appeals Panel to the Court. Quite a bit of legal work is devoted to such an appeal. I am not saying the insurer did not have a right to address this issue in an appeal. But it seems impractical and going forward with an appeal to clear up what is a stump for all future cases seems a bit of a waste. After all how many such cases are there? I have always believed that extremity injuries to include hands and fingers can be devastating matters for some people. Imagine if you were a surgeon or piano player or even a carpenter. You can lose your trade and receive a low sum for the injury. So getting a few bucks such as was done in Leffler is better then nothing.