Is a Noncompensable Injury Occupationally Related ?

In Ashley v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd. (1995) 37 Cal. App. 4th 320, 326 43 Cal. Rptr. 2d 589, the WCAB apportioned disability among industrial injuries which occurred at three different places of employment, a subsequent period of pregnancy, and an even later period of unemployment. The court held that an "unrelated noncompensable injury" was an injury "clearly not occupationally related." (Ashley, supra, 37 Cal. App. 4th at p. 329.) The court's analysis was as follows: " 'Subsequent' clearly means later in time than the injury which is subject to rating. 'Injury' is generally defined as 'hurt,' or 'damage,' or 'harm.' 'Noncompensable injury' may be defined by reference to what is considered a 'compensable injury' pursuant to the Labor Code. There is a comprehensive discussion of that term in Livitsanos v. Superior Court, supra, 2 Cal. 4th 744, at pages 752-753. . . . 'The touchstone of the workers' compensation system is industrial injury which results in occupational disability or death. Labor Code section 3208 defines "injury" as "any injury or disease arising out of the employment . . . ." . . . Labor Code section 3208.1 describes "specific" injuries "occurring as the result of one incident or exposure which causes disability or need for medical treatment" and "cumulative" injury as "occurring as repetitive mentally or physically traumatic activities extending over a period of time, the combined effect of which causes any disability or need for medical treatment."