Happy New Year to all of our friends! I&F ended 2014 on a high note as the Commission recently affirmed an arbitration win in which the Arbitrator found that Petitioner failed to prove that his alleged injuries were caused, aggravated, or accelerated by the alleged accident.
In this matter, Petitioner alleged that he suffered a hand injury, for which he later underwent an operation, after unhooking a trailer. The Arbitrator found that Petitioner’s treating physician failed to provide a basis for his opinions that the diagnosed condition and subsequent surgery were causally-related to the accident, as the doctor failed to account for a lack of findings on MRI or x-rays following the accident, or for a significant gap in treatment between the accident and the surgery. Instead, the Arbitrator relied on the thorough and well-based opinions of Respondent’s Section 12 Examiner that while Petitioner may have suffered a strain or sprain, the condition which warranted surgery was degenerative in nature and not the result of the alleged accident. Further, the Arbitrator found that the unrelated surgery constituted an intervening cause, precluding an award of any permanent partial disability benefits whatsoever.
After being reviewed by the Petitioner, Partner Colin Mills successfully argued before the Commission which unanimously affirmed the Arbitration Decision.