Case involved a 10/13/15 denied specific injury to the applicant’s back. The claim was originally denied based on no substantial medical or factual evidence to support a work related injury as well as pursuant to LC3600(a)(10) – post termination basis.
During the applicant’s deposition he adamantly testified that he injured his back lifting a box of chicken putting away a delivery. He also adamantly testified that he had never been involved in any prior work related injuries and had never sustained any prior injuries to his back. Now, in digging further, following a medical canvas it was found that the applicant regularly treated at Kaiser. Upon review of the Kaiser records a 1 page document was found, within the numerous documents, showing that the applicant was seen by a doctor in 2010 for back pain for years and a remote injury while working construction. Despite this, the applicant continued to deny any prior injuries to Defendants, his own attorney, and the Panel QME.
During his deposition the applicant also testified that he reported his injury to his supervisor. He claimed that he was never given any paperwork to fill out. However, the WCJ found that the applicant, by his own resume and Employment Application, had extensive training of restaurant workers in workplace safety and therefore could have completed his own paperwork.
It was also found in speaking with co-workers that another co-worker has reported the exact same injury that the applicant was claiming. In fact, this witness testified that she reported her injury to the applicant as he was her General Manager. This witness testified at Trial that it was her, not Mr. Wales, who sustained an injury on 10/13/15 lifting a box of chicken putting away the delivery. She also testified that she never saw Mr. Wales injure himself on 10/13/15, that he never discussed any injury on that date with her, and that he complained on prior occasions of prior injury to his back.
The Panel QME in this matter also specifically stated in his reporting, and during his cross-examination, that the applicant had a history of low back pain and prior injury which he denied during his evaluation. The Panel QME further stated that he had an enormous problem with the applicant’s veracity and that the applicant presented with exaggerated pain behavior.
Based on all of the above, and based on the applicant’s manner and demeanor when he testified, the evidentiary record and the credible testimony of the witness the Judge found that the applicant DID NOT sustain an injury to his low back on 10/13/15 and issued a take nothing.
Opinion and Decision: Click here.