State News : Delaware

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NWCDN Members regularly post articles and summary judgements in workers’ compensations law in your state.  

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Me Thinks He Talked Too Much
Despite four compensable lumbar surgeries following a 2016 work accident, Claimant had not returned to work in any capacity and filed a Petition for a fifth lumbar surgery. Claimant’s expert, Dr. Zaslavsky testified that the surgery was needed to address adjacent segment disease that was causing progressively debilitating and severe functional problems.
Unfortunately for Claimant, the Board denied the Petition. In addition to citing Dr. Fedder’s defense expert testimony that claimant’s complaints were without any correlation to physical examination findings, the Board also noted that claimant’s physical therapy notes completely contradicted the allegation of significant functional deficits during the timeframe the claimant was considering surgery.
Specifically, physical therapy notes documented the claimant’s histories of being attacked by a dog, run over by a vehicle while doing mechanical work, turkey hunting, army crawling while turkey hunting, shooting and killing a turkey while hunting, plans to begin weightlifting, and consideration of pursuing martial arts classes while, at the same time, the claimant was engaging in hiking, camping, and fishing activities. Claimant also told his therapist that he was only undergoing the fifth surgery so that he would not lose his workers’ compensation benefits.
Should you have any questions concerning this Decision, please contact Greg Skolnik, or any attorney in our Workers’ Compensation Department.
Michael Padgett v. R & F Metals, Inc., IAB Hrg. No 1450795 (Oct. 28, 2020).