Espinoza v. Job Source USA, Inc.

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Espinoza v. Job Source USA, Inc.

Case Number
Call Date
November 1, 2022
Case Time
9:00 AM
Court Number
Case Location
Court Type
Case Summary

S-22-0207 Paulina Espinoza (Appellant) v. Job Source, USA, Inc. (Appellee)

Appeal from the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court, Judge J. Michael Fitzgerald

Attorneys: Steven H. Howard (Steven Howard Law for Appellant) and Eric T. Lanham and Sarah N. Boston (McAnany, Van Cleave & Phillips for Appellee)

Workers’ Compensation:  Loss of Earning Capacity

Proceedings below: The Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court denied Appellant’s claim for loss of earning capacity.  On its own motion, the Nebraska Supreme Court ordered that this case be removed from the docket of the Nebraska Court of Appeals and transferred to its docket. 

Issues: On appeal, Appellant makes the following assignments of error:  1) The trial court erred as a matter of law in determining that a permanent loss of use of parts of the right hand, with permanent loss of use of parts of the right arm from the same injury, resulted in a permanent loss to a single scheduled member by misapplying and misinterpreting Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-121(3), resulting in the court failing to consider an award of loss of earning capacity but instead awarding only scheduled benefits; 2) The trial court erred in determining that Melton v. City of Holdrege was dispositive on the legal issue of whether benefits could be awarded under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-121(3) where both permanently partially impaired scheduled members were anatomically located along the same extremity; 3) The trial court erred in failing to appoint a vocational rehabilitation expert to assist the court in determining whether impairment to multiple scheduled members adequately compensated Plaintiff and therefore required the court’s assessment for loss of earning capacity; and 4) The trial court erred in failing to award loss of earning capacity indemnity benefits based on body as a whole analysis rather than the award entered of multiple scheduled member permanent partial impairments. 

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