In another recent trial win for Gilson Daub’s Lien Department, the WCAB found that none of Applicant’s claimed three work-related injuries were industrially caused and dismissed a total of 14 lien claimants, including the Employment Development Department (EDD), in their entirety. This result saved Gilson Daub’s client over $189,000.00 in lien liability.
The case facts involved Applicant claiming two distinct slip and fall incidents, a month apart from each other, and a cumulative trauma injury (CT) that spanned 7 months. Applicant claimed injuries to her shoulders, wrists, hands, knees, ankles, back, neck, and psychiatric as a result of these three injury dates. However, through the course of defendant’s discovery, it was learned that Applicant had been involved in three automobiles accidents within the five years prior to her first claimed work injury. Additionally, Applicant had had been training for a marathon only months prior to the first claimed injury and had been diagnosed with cervical disc disease of the neck by her personal physician only a month prior to the first claimed injury. Applicant only reported the injuries to the employer after six months from the first claimed injury. Defendants denied all three claims.
After a thorough investigation and discovery process, defendants procured a medical-legal examination from an Agreed Medical Evaluator (AME) to evaluate Applicant’s injuries. By this time, Applicant had been treating with a total of seven different physicians for almost two years, each finding that the cause of Applicant’s injuries was the claimed work injuries. The AME ultimately left the issue of causation to the WCAB, but caveated that if it was found that the injuries were industrially caused, only the neck and low back injuries were work-related. Applicant ultimately settled all three claims for $16,000 without a final determination as to causation.
Thereafter, twenty-four lien claimants filed their liens with the WCAB for reimbursement of their medical treatment and associated services. Defendants eventually settled ten lien claimants for low amounts, however the remaining fourteen would not accept Gilson Daub’s minimal offers. After two Lien Conferences and five trial dates, which involved direct testimony from Applicant’s general manager, the WCJ found that none of Applicant’s injuries arose out of, or through the course of, employment and dismissed all lien claimants in their entirety, saving Gilson Daub’s client over $189,000.
-Warren E. Hedstrom, Esq.