62-4-53Permanent total disability--Burden of proof--Moving expenses paid by employer in certain cases.

An employee is permanently totally disabled if the employee's physical condition, in combination with the employee's age, training, and experience and the type of work available in the employee's community, cause the employee to be unable to secure anything more than sporadic employment resulting in an insubstantial income. An employee has the burden of proof to make a prima facie showing of permanent total disability. The burden then shifts to the employer to show that some form of suitable work is regularly and continuously available to the employee in the community. The employer may meet this burden by showing that a position is available which is not sporadic employment resulting in an insubstantial income as defined in subdivision 62-4-52(2). An employee shall introduce evidence of a reasonable, good faith work search effort unless the medical or vocational findings show such efforts would be futile. The effort to seek employment is not reasonable if the employee places undue limitations on the kind of work the employee will accept or purposefully leaves the labor market. An employee shall introduce expert opinion evidence that the employee is unable to benefit from vocational rehabilitation or that the same is not feasible.

If an employee chooses to move to an area to obtain suitable employment that is not available within the employee's community, the employer shall pay moving expenses of household goods not to exceed four weeks of compensation at the rate provided by § 62-4-3.

Source: SL 1994, ch 396, § 8; SL 1999, ch 261, § 7.