Take Nothing by James Chapman
The Applicant in this matter was a warehouse employee at a large retailer who claimed a cumulative trauma injury to her bilateral lower extremities as a result of her work at the Employer. The claim was initially accepted as the Applicant did have medical evidence supporting problems with her lower extremities, and her job required her to be on her feet on concrete floors for the vast majority of her work shifts.
CCMPT investigated the Applicant’s medical history and was able to locate medical evidence indicating that the Applicant’s bilateral lower extremity condition was not caused by her work for the Employer but was instead caused by her peripheral neuropathy due to uncontrolled diabetes. The Applicant was evaluated by an AME and this information was submitted to the AME. The AME agreed that the Applicant’s lower extremity condition was caused by her non-industrial diabetes. The AME’s deposition was taken by Applicant’s counsel, and the AME refused to assign even 1% of the Applicant’s condition to a cumulative trauma due to her work at the Employer.
The Applicant refused to settle this case for nuisance value; therefore, the matter was submitted for trial based upon the primary treating physician’s alleged finding of injury. The Applicant attempted to provide oral testimony supporting her claim for injury by noting the extent of her problems and by claiming that her work was indeed injurious. The Applicant’s testimony was undermined on cross-examination by showing that the Applicant told her treating physician that she did not have diabetes, and by showing that she was only a part-time employee.
The trial judge found the AME’s opinion to be more persuasive than the primary treating physician’s opinion and ordered that the Applicant take no additional benefits in a Findings and Order January 20, 2021.
Decision: Click here.