In a short unpublished decision, the United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, vacated the decision of the Benefits Review Board and remanded the case to the Administrative Law Judge. As quoted by the Sixth Circuit, the Administrative Procedure Act requires the factfinder to render a decision that includes a discussion of “findings and conclusions, and the reasons or basis therefor, on all the material issues of fact, law, or discretion presented on the record.” 5 U.S.C. § 557(c)(3)(A). Here, the ALJ determined without sufficient explanation that the claimant reached MMI upon his failed attempt to return to work. The Sixth Circuit casted doubt on this unexplained finding: “[w]hile Williams’ inability to perform his prior job duties may indicate that he was permanently disabled as of May 31, 2005, it does not necessarily indicate that this was the date he reached MMI.”
Marathon Ashland Petroleum v. Williams, 2010 WL 2711316 (6th Cir. 2010).
(Note: I originally published this post on Navigable Waters: A Maritime, Longshore and Defense Base Act Blog.)