State News : Delaware

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Claimant, Mary Justice, was seeking acknowledgment of an alleged cumulative detrimental effects injuries to her back and lower extremities as the result of lifting activities as a school bus aide.
The Board denied Justice’s claim, noting she was not credible as there were numerous inconsistencies throughout the case. Claimant denied having any prior back problems during a defense medical examination with Dr. Rushton and told her own doctor that she had back surgery in 1989 and then no other back problems. The Board noted these statements were “far from the truth” as she had extensive spinal problems since 1989 with several injuries and numerous rounds of treatment over the years, including additional lumbar surgical recommendations, which Claimant also denied during her testimony at the Board. Claimant denied having diabetes, which was contradicted by her own records. She failed to report two other jobs in connection with filing her Petition, despite being specifically asked for this information. She made conflicting statements about when her allegedly work-related back problems started. Her job duties were much less physically demanding than she alleged. She filed numerous prior workers’ compensation claims, but denied them when speaking with the adjuster, and claimed to not be able to remember them during the current Hearing, despite the current Hearing being conducted in front of the same Hearing Officer as a prior Board Hearing. She made statements in the earlier Hearing that were inconsistent with statements made at the current Hearing. Given all of the above inconsistencies, the Board noted that they did not believe that claimant was injured as a result of her job duties as a school bus aide.
Should you have any questions concerning this Decision, please contactJohn Ellis or any other attorney in our Workers’ Compensation Department.
Mary Justice v. State, IAB Hrg. No. 1494830 (Feb. 5, 2021)