Cheryl Martin recently won a full-contest claim. Claimant alleged she sustained an injury while “log rolling” patients to change their bedding. The injury was un-witnessed. Claimant alleged she called her supervisor the next morning from home to report the injury and the supervisor told her to fill out the paperwork for her injury when claimant came in to work her next shift. However, claimant’s supervisor testified that claimant did not know if she was hurt at work when she reported the injury. In addition, when claimant called in sick, surveillance video captured her running multiple other errands and even climbing under the hood of an SUV to see if she could fix the engine. The ALJ ultimately found claimant not credible primarily because she lied when she called in sick.  He also credited the supervisor for her consistent note-taking and accuracy which was corroborated by claimant’s own text messages. The claim was denied and dismissed.

 

John Steninger successfully argued for dismissal of a claim based on the statute of limitations. Claimant alleged he sustained a work-related injury to his foot for which he was hospitalized. Respondents filed a notice of contest, and claimant did not file an application for hearing until three years after the date of injury. Claimant alleged the statute of limitations was tolled due to his hospitalization after the injury and based on alleged misleading statements from the adjuster. However, the ALJ found that the adjuster did not misrepresent her employment as an insurance adjuster or otherwise engage in any misconduct or deceptive practice that could form the basis for equitable tolling of the statute of limitations. The claim was denied and dismissed.

 

Kyle Thacker won an order allowing respondents to withdraw their admission of liability. Claimant alleged he injured himself while doing pull-ups in a stairwell during a lull in his work. He claimed doing pull-ups was part of his stretching routine, which was encouraged by his employer. Respondents filed an admission of liability, but later sought to withdraw it on grounds that doing pull-ups was not part of claimant’s job duties. Claimant’s supervisor testified that claimant’s pull-ups did not benefit employer in any way. The ALJ credited the supervisor’s testimony and found that performing pull-ups was not a strict employment requirement and did not confer a specific benefit to the employer. The ALJ further found that claimant severed the employment relationship because performing a pull-up was not incidental to his regular conditions of employment and was a significant deviation from his assigned duties. Respondents were allowed to withdraw their admission of liability and cease TTD.

 

Tom Kanan won a full contest in Colorado Springs involving a delivery truck driver who complained of progressively debilitating hand and elbow pain.  Claimant frequently lifted, moved, reached for, grasped and carried packages during work. Claimant’s primary care doctor believed his pain was work-related.  Respondents’ IME could find no properly diagnosable condition pursuant to the Cumulative Trauma Medical Treatment Guidelines that would support claimant’s occupational disease claim. Although claimant’s supervisor testified that he was often in pain at the end of his shift, the ALJ, after taking judicial notice of the Medical Treatment Guidelines, found that without a specific diagnosed cause of claimant’s pain there was insufficient proof of a work-related disease, and that no specific accident was shown to have caused his continuing, disabling symptoms, even after he quit working. Therefore, the claim was denied and dismissed.