Persiani v. SWCC
In Persiani v. SWCC, 162 W. Va. 230, 248 S.E.2d 844 (1978) the Court specified that the rule of liberally interpreting evidence in favor of the claimant is to be applied in occupational pneumoconiosis claims. The Court described the liberality rule as one "which mandates that reputable evidence favorable to the claimant be considered and the claimant treated as generously as any reasonable view of the evidence would justify." 162 W. Va. at 236, 248 S.E.2d at 848 (1978).
Persiani presented the Court with the question of how the rule of liberality should be applied "when the claimant introduces expert testimony on disability to the Occupational Pneumoconiosis Board who, as experts themselves, disbelieve the claimant's evidence and find the evidence of the employer's examining experts more credible[.]"
The Court specified that the Division may not accept the OP Board's recommendation to "arbitrarily choose to disbelieve any competent medical testimony in its entirety or to exclude it from consideration altogether, absent credible evidence in the record that the suspect testimony is unreliable." Syllabus, Persiani.