My 29 year old son has worked for General Mills for three years as a production utility worker. He has Kyphosis and scoliosis of his spine which developed in his teens. He was evaluated by an orthopedic doctor then who never identified his problem as "congenital". General Mills did a thorough medical exam of Drew prior to his employment and never voiced concerns about his back. In August 2014 he lifted a 50 lb bag of yeast and experienced sudden low back pain. He was on workers compensation and when he did not improve they did an MRI. The MRI showed several problems in his lower back including two disc problems and stenosis. Workers Compensation dropped his case do to congenital problems. Can they do this? His low back pain was a result of a work injury .
If the claim was denied your the next step is to hire an attorney. disc problems can be caused by heavy lifting, while aggravation of pre-existing conditions can be covered by workers' comp. You can find an attorney by using the Find Lawyer option here on Avvo.
Don't forget to check "Helpful" if I helped you out. This response is not intended to create an attorney client relationship and is based on the limited information available at the time of the response. Before acting on anything stated or referenced in this response you should consult with an attorney of your choosing and go over the specific details of your legal circumstances. My responses are also given in the context of the laws of the State of Louisiana. To the extent this comment involves principles of law governed by another state my comment merely reflects my opinion and should not be considered legal advice.
I am sorry this painful episode happened to your son, and have no doubt that the workplace incident caused the pain. The issue is not so much whether his condition is congenital, but simply that it was pre-existing. Even if it was completely without pain or symptoms prior, mere "aggravation" of a pre-existing condition is not covered under Missouri's Workers Compensation laws since they were tightened up in 2005. What is required is a new "injury". A really good work comp attorney in your area may be able to contest the decision by General Mills' insurer, but it will have to be based on objective medical evidence of a new "injury" and not simply aggravation of a pre-existing, asymptomatic condition. A consultation with an experienced work comp attorney might well come at no charge. The representation itself, if they take the case, is at no cost to the claimant, the attorney gets paid at the end of the case out of the claimant's recovery, and the maximum attorney fee for workers compensation under Missouri law is 25%. The costs to process the case, such as ordering medical records and getting independent medical evaluations, come out of the recovery as well. Good luck to your son.
Paul E. Evans, Blue Springs Law Office has practiced Personal Injury in Blue springs, Mo; Workers Compensation in Blue Springs, MO; Family and Domestic Law in Blue Springs, MO; Car wrecks/accidents and many other legal matters in his private practice of twenty years.. He is presently Owner/Managing Attorney of BLUE SPRINGS LAW OFFICE, a Blue Springs, MO Law Firm. Paul does free consultations for personal injury cases/car/auto accidents. (www.bluespringslawoffice.com). He holds his JD with University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and his BA with the University of Missouri Kansas City. The foregoing is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
Get him to a good work comp lawyer. Those disc problems may be a new injury and the source of his pain. And vote for legislators who are more friendly to people who work for a living!
This answer is intended as general information and not as specific legal advice. If you want to have a free consultation with me, please contact me through AVVO.
I encourage you to call our firm or another reputable attorney to discuss the matter at length. It sounds as if there were some procedural issues with your claim.
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