In this case, the claimant, an Administrative Clerk, filed a claim for repetitive trauma to his right upper extremity as the result of work duties in an office environment where he worked essentially as a shipping clerk. To complicate the claim, the claimant was a lifelong sufferer of cerebral palsy that affects his entire left side, including his left upper extremity. At trial, the claimant emphasized the time he spends at work on the computer using only his right hand and arm, but through defense witnesses, we were able to show that “time on the computer” does not equate to keyboarding on the computer. Most of the time on the computer was doing point and click with a mouse, and not much of that even. We prevailed in showing that the claimant failed to establish exposure to repetitive trauma. Medical causation was also at issue, and we were able to show that the IME, who had a detailed description of the job duties, was more credible than the treating physician, who relied only upon what he was told by the claimant. It helped that the claimant mentioned a non-occupational activity as the starting point for the symptoms, as the IME also used that as the basis for finding the condition related to that activity rather than the work activities.
Congratulations to Partner and Vice President Steve Murdock for his win, which concluded in a denial of benefits for proposed elbow and wrist surgery and a year of TTD.