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Did The Claimant Sustain A Compensable Injury With Resulting Disability?

Case Conclusion Date: 11.14.2008

Practice Area: Workers compensation

Outcome: Plaintiff Prevailed Before DWC

Description: M.A. worked as a housekeeper in a hospital where she usually worked in the ER cleaning up trauma rooms between patients, which was fairly strenuous work. She was injured one day when she knelt down and tried to pick up a backboard that had been left on the floor of the trauma room. She testified that she could hardly stand up from that position and had a sharp pain in her low back. The evidence showed that the room was littered with debris that had to be picked up quickly so that a new trauma could be brought in and that M.A. had to sit and let someone else finish the room. A witness statement was obtained from a nurse at the hospital who gave M.A. something like tylenol when she complained of the pain. The workers compensation insurance carrier denied liability for the injury. M.A. had injured her back three years prior and had gotten treatment for about six months following that injury. The carrier argued that this current back problem was related to the prior injury and was not a "new" injury. M.A. treated with the same doctor on both occassions and he indicated the current back problem was in fact a new injury. The judge determined that the evidence proved M.A. sustained a new injury and that this injury resulted in an inability to earn wages from June 23, 2008, through the date of the hearing on November 14, 2008. The claimant has a compensable injury with resulting disability. Kevin Poteete represented Zurich American Insurance Company in this case. His name is not in Avvo so this party could not be added to the case details.

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