Brown v. Industrial Commission

In Brown v. Industrial Commission 199 Ariz. 521, 19 P.3d 1237 (App. 2001), the claimant's entitlement to supportive care benefits was litigated and decided by an ALJ. Id. at 522, P 2, 19 P.3d at 1238. When the carrier subsequently terminated those benefits based on a new independent medical examination, the claimant protested. Id. at 523, P 7, 19 P.3d at 1239. On appeal, the Court held: Respondents did not seek review of . . . the ALJ's initial award, of supportive care and it became final. And, absent some change in . . . claimant's physical condition, or in medical procedures, . . . respondents insurer and employer are precluded from relitigating the supportive care issue merely by filing a notice of claim status. Preclusionary effect is given to prior awards not because they are correct but despite the fact they are incorrect. Id. at 525, P 17, 19 P.3d at 1241. Thus, the Court concluded that preclusion would apply if there is "merely a change in medical opinion" or the evidence presented is not "qualitatively different" from the prior evidence. Id. at 524, P 14, 19 P.3d at 1240.