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2017 LIRC Case Summary from Wisconsin’s top workers compensation law firm

Below please find a summary of several important cases along with the a summary of the decisions that LIRC made in 2017. These decisions will continue to shape Wisconsin worker’s compensation in the years to come.

LIRC DECISIONS

  1. Vera v. Southwest Airlines, WCC# 2015-020808 (LIRC July 28, 2017)
  2. Goman v. Tutor-Perini Corp, wee #2015-011682 (LIRC August 18, 2017)
  3. Orris v. FL Transportation, Inc., wee #2013-013706 (LIRC July 21, 2017)
  4. Millen v. Tradesman International, Inc., wee #2015-003060 (LIRC August 18, 2017)
  5. Brellenthin v. Birds Eye Foods, Inc., wee #2014-009381 (LIRC August 31, 2017)
  6. Geiger v. Wisconsin Nationwide Transportation, wee #2010-007156 (LIRC August 31, 2017)
  7. Gomez-Sandoval v. Amalga Composites, Inc., wee #2009-022418
  8. Disanto v. JBS Distribution LLC, wee #2011-027099 (LIRC September 14, 2017)12. Disanto v. JBS Distribution LLC, wee #2011-027099 (LIRC September 14, 2017)
  9. Grande v. Lange Drywall & Second Injury Fund, wee #1980-000416
  10. Hounsell v. ADS Waste Holdings, Inc., WCC #2015-015883 (LIRC September 27, 2017)
  11. Schmelzer v Zurich American Ins., wee #2011-019555 (LIRC September 27, 2017)
  12. Coppage v. Midwest Labor, wee #2012-007424 (LIRC October 11, 2017)
  13. Adamowicz v. Old Carco, LLC, wee #2005-018339 (LIRC October 19, 2017)
  14. Kadlec v. Don Johnson’s Hayward Motors, wee #2013-020253
  15. Mesenbrink v. Kenan Advantage Group, wee #2014-003291 (LIRC October 19,
    2017)
  16. Lock v. School Distr. Of Mequon Thiensville, wee #2015-014848
  17. Raasch v. Oneida Erecting, Inc., wee #2015-028373 (LIRC October 19, 2017)
  18. Wyrwas v. Arandell Corp .. wee #2014-030714 (LIRC November 28, 2017)
  19. Sebaro v. Marinette Marine Corp., wee #2015-025387 (LIRC December 15, 2017)
  20. Neitzke v. Miron Const Co, Inc., wee #2013-003481 (LIRC December 15, 2017)
  21. Williams v. Manpower, Inc., WCC #2014-003536 (LIRC December 15, 2017)
  22. Kasarsky v. Aurora Health Care, wee #2014-028038 (LIRC January 12, 2018)
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  1. Vera v. Southwest Airlines, WCC# 2015-020808 (LIRC July 28, 2017)

Idiopathic Injury [Top Workers Comp Lawyer]

Vera worked as a baggage handler for Southwest Airlines. She had been doing the job for seven years. On the day of the injury, Vera was noted to have unloaded approximately 30 bags from a plane onto a luggage cart. When she finished putting the bags on the cart, Vera took a few steps and noticed a “pulled muscle sensation” in her right knee. Vera claimed a torn medial meniscus and sought benefits. The employer denied the claim arguing the injury was idiopathic.

The ALJ awarded benefits finding Vera’s physical activities immediately prior to the reported pain in her knee either directly caused, or caused an aggravation, acceleration and precipitation of a preexisting condition in Vera’s knee to progress beyond its normal expected course of progression. On appeal, LIRC affirmed the findings made by the ALJ and relied upon the medical opinions of Vera’s treating physician who stated that moving the baggage contributed to the meniscal tear in the knee. LIRC noted Vera had no prior knee problems or treatment for her knee before the injury and that the injury was directly caused by moving the baggage. They rejected the employer’s argument the knee had been injured the weekend before when Vera moved her personal residence.

 

  1. Goman v. Tutor-Perini Corp. WCC #2015-011682 (LIRC August 18, 2017)

Lumbar Fusion

Goman was working on a bridge column and was attached by harness to heavy steel forms that gave way. He fell approximately 15 feet landing on a mix of construction materials, including concrete, gravel and rubble. As the result of his injuries, surgery was performed involving a 5-level percutaneous intersegmental pedicel screw fixation from T11-L3. The treating physician offered a medical opinion on permanent disability, rating 55% as compared to the body as a whole. The treating physician noted the permanent disability assessment was pursuant to Wis. Admin. Code which provides a minimum of 10% per level for a fusion, plus 5% for a vertebral compression fracture. Interestingly, the IME watched surveillance of Goman showing that he could frequently bend, kneel, pull a wheeled garbage bin and carry buckets of water. The IME found no permanent disability. [Wisconsin’s top workers compensation law firm]

At hearing the ALJ was awarded 30% PPD. The ALJ found there was a 5% permanent disability per level for the pedicel fixation procedure and a 5% permanent disability for the L 1 burst fracture. LIRC reduced that award to 20% permanent disability, breaking it down as 3% per level of the pedicel screw fixation procedure and 5% for the L 1 burst fracture. LIRC rejected Goman’s argument that the pedicel screw procedure was the same as a fusion. After watching the surveillance video, LIRC concluded that 5% per level for the pedicel screw procedure was too much, and that 3% was just right.

 

7.Orris v. FL Transportation, Inc., wee #2013-013706 (LIRe July 21, 2017)

Total Knee Replacement

Orris had surgery on his left knee in 1990. On February 1, 2013 while in the scope of his employment, his foot became wedged and he lost his balance twisting his left knee. He sought medical treatment for a sharp stabbing pain on the outside of his knee. The 2013 MRI scan showed a complex degenerative tear of the lateral meniscal horn. The treating doctor stated the findings were chronic in nature and not caused by the February 1, 2013 injury. Orris returned to work with a brace on his knee and worked until September of 2015 when a new physician imposed physical restrictions and stated they were caused by the February 1, 2013 injury.

Dr. Sellman became involved in December of 2015. He found the job responsibilities for Mr. Orris, including the February 1, 2013 incident, constituted a contributory causative factor in the degenerative process in the knee and that Mr. Orris needed a total knee replacement. IME physician, Dr. Summerville stated in multiple reports that the need for the total knee replacement was attributable to the 1990 knee surgery and that the arthritis in the knee was a foreseeable consequence of that old surgery.

The ALJ awarded prospective benefits for the total knee replacement. LIRC reversed based on the opinions of the original doctor and the IME, finding the inevitable progression of the arthritic condition in the knee caused the need for the total knee replacement surgery and not the employment in 2013. [Wisconsin’s top workers compensation law firm]

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8.Millen v. Tradesman International, Inc., wee #2015-003060 (LIRe August 18, 2017)

5% Rule Lives On

Millen sustained a work-related injury to his right elbow. The only dispute was the

nature and extent of functional permanent disability. Dr. Konkel assessed a 50% permanent partial disability. In part, Dr. Konkel based his permanent disability assessment on a functional capacities evaluation and “pain, weakness and impaired ability to return to his previous duties.”

Dr. Siegert evaluated the employee on behalf of the respondent. He assessed a 10% functional permanent disability as compared to amputation of the arm at the elbow based on loss of strength and range of motion.

LIRC found Dr. Konkel’s 50% permanent partial disability to be excessive because the range of motion and elbow strength measurements documented in the functional capacities evaluation were relatively good. However, LIRC felt Dr. Siegert’s assessment was too low. LIRC awarded 15% functional permanent disability utilizing the 5% variance rule. LIRC noted the functional capacities evaluation ordered by Dr. Konkel was more consistent with Dr. Siegert’s permanency assessment than Dr. Konkel’s. [Wisconsin’s top workers compensation law firm]

 

  1. Brellenthin v. Birds Eye Foods, Inc., wee #2014-009381 (LIRC August 31, 2017)

Mostly Compensable

Brellenthin had a work-related injury on November 15, 2013 to her low back. MRI scans confirmed a disc protrusion at the L4-L5 level. There was also an old disc protrusion at the L5-L 1 level from 1995. Dr. Yuska’s IME confirmed the conceded injury caused the need for back surgery. A second MRI was ordered in September of 2014 confirming the results of the first MRI. A records review was conducted by Dr. O’Brien. Dr. O’Brien stated the L4-L5 level was caused by the work injury, but not the L5-S1 level.

On January 30, 2015 Dr. Sturm performed bilateral laminectomies at the L4-L5 and L5-S1 levels along with a 2-level fusion with pedicle screws. Based on Dr. O’Brien’s opinions, the respondents conceded liability for the L4-L5 level, but not the L5-S1 level. LIRC awarded 20% permanent disability based on Dr. Sturm’s opinions, and discarded the opinions of Dr. O’Brien as being incredible. They found the 2-level fusion surgery was the responsibility of the respondents, and the 2013 injury caused the need for surgery at both the L4-L5 and L5-S1 levels. [Wisconsin’s top workers compensation law firm]

 

10.Geiger v. Wisconsin Nationwide Transportation, wee #2010-007156 {LIRC

 

TTD During

Geiger was a truck driver based out of Kiel, Wisconsin. He sustained severe injuries to his ankle in an ice storm in Montana on March 6, 2010. He slid down the side of a ravine when he attempted to put chains on his truck wheels and remained unconscious there for a period of time.

While the injury was conceded, the entitlement to temporary total disability benefits and the nature and extent of permanent disability was disputed. In November of 2012 while still on temporary disability, Geiger applied for Social Security benefits which began in January of 2013. On March 1, 2013 his treating doctor released him and indicated he could return as needed. He gave 35% permanent partial disability to the ankle.

In November of 2013 Geiger began treating with a different physician who performed a surgical removal of the hardware. A bone biopsy showed infection in the joint which had to clear before the ankle could be re-fused. The re-fusion took place in March of 2014. On October 6, 2016 Geiger obtained an end of healing and functional permanent disability assessments totaling 75% at the right ankle. Dr. Viehe saw Geiger in the summer of 2016 and established end of healing with a 50% permanent disability. Based on the opinions of Dr. Viehe, LIRC awarded a 50% permanent disability.

LIRC also awarded temporary disability benefits from November of 2013 through July 1, 2016, even though Geiger was on SSDI and indicated he did not plan to return to active employment. Citing both the Kohler and General Motors cases, LIRC concluded the threshold question on whether temporary disability benefits should be allowed was “whether or not after retirement the individual remained physical able to obtain other, suitable employment.” LIRC concluded Geiger really did not intend to retire until he was 70, and but for his ankle injury, he would have returned to driving a truck. [Wisconsin’s top workers compensation law firm]

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11.Gomez-Sandoval v. Amalga Composites, Inc., wee #2009-022418 (LIRC

Amalga Eulogy

After an award of benefits under §102.35(3), the employer appealed arguing they were prohibited from offering employment under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. On appeal the case was remanded to LIRC to determine whether the employer met its burden of proof that Gomez-Sandoval was an undocumented worker. In its second Order, LIRC found the employer failed to provide any direct evidence of Gomez­Sandoval’s citizenship, nationality or place of birth. LIRC found the employer failed to prove by a preponderance of evidence that she was an undocumented worker or an unauthorized alien under 8 USC §1324(a)(h)(3). Further, LIRC found the Immigration Act did not apply to this case. LIRC went on to State as follows:

“In sum, while an alien can prove he or she is authorized to work in the United States by showing a valid Social Security card, the failure to produce a valid Social Security card does not prove a person is an alien.” [Wisconsin’s top workers compensation law firm]

 

12.Disanto v. JBS Distribution LLC, wee #2011-027099 (LIRC September 14, 2017)

LOEC

Disanto sustained a compensable work-related injury when he fell off the bumper of a truck. The fight was about the nature and extent of permanent disability, permanent physical limitations and loss of earning capacity. There were multiple sets of restrictions, and the parties offered multiple opinions on the extent of the disability and permanent physical limitations. They also offered multiple opinions from vocational experts regarding loss of earning capacity caused by the back injury. LIRC awarded a 51 % loss of earning capacity. LIRC concluded the correct assessment of LOEC incorporated an analysis of the loss over an injured worker’s entire career, not simply the actual wage loss. While noting that Disanto intended to continue working for the same employer, LIRC looked beyond just the wage earned for that employer to consider what capacity had been lost. LIRC concluded that Disanto’s loss of earning capacity was greater than just the loss of his most recent earnings. [Wisconsin’s top workers compensation law firm]

 

  1. Grande v. Lange Drywall & 2nd Injury Fund, wee#1980-000416 (LI Re Sept. 14, 2017)

Second Injury Fund

Grande had a conceded knee injury in 1978. Subsequent to the knee injury he had multiple surgical procedures including multiple knee replacements which eventually resulted in permanent partial disability benefits totaling 425 weeks. On December 7, 1979 and July 7, 1980 Grande sustained neck injuries which ultimately resulted in a permanent partial disability award by the Department on a vocational basis of 40%. In January of 2013 Grande filed an Application seeking compensation from the Second Injury Fund for the injuries occurring on January 3, 1978 and December 7, 1979. LIRC dismissed the claim finding that at the time of the second injury Grande did not yet have a permanent disability entitling him to 200 weeks. At that time the permanent disability for the knee injury was 10% or 42.5 weeks. As a matter of statutory construction, LIRC refused to read the Second Injury statute as allowing for an interpretation to consider the eventual permanent disability sustained from the original 1978 knee injury. [Wisconsin’s top workers compensation law firm]

 

14.Hounsell v. ADS Waste Holdings, Inc., wee #2015-015883 (LIRe Sept. 27, 2017)

Idiopathic Injury

Hounsell claimed injury to his right knee as the result of walking around his garbage truck. The initial incident report indicated the injury occurred when Hounsell was walking around the truck and felt a pop and then discomfort. The initial medical record indicated Hounsell was walking around his truck when he felt a pop in his knee. Hounsell denied any direct fall or uneven surfaces or previous knee problems.

At hearing Hounsell testified he was “moving quickly” around his truck and he planted his right foot firmly to pivot to the left and experienced pain in his knee. The ALJ credited the initial report of injury and medical records and discounted Hounsell’s testimony finding the injury was idiopathic. LIRC affirmed the ALJ’s finding that the injury report and initial medical records provided a more credible description of what occurred, and that the later description provided by Hounsell at the hearing was not credible. Note that Hounsell was a garbage collector and apparently had been collecting garbage earlier in the day.

 

15.Schmelzer v Zurich American Ins., wee #2011-019555 (LI Re September 27, 2017)

Bad Faith

Schmelzer settled her case with Zurich. The Compromise Agreement contained a hold harmless agreement for medical expenses. The carrier resolved all medical expenses with the exception of two owed to Aurora. Aurora would not negotiate directly with Zurich without permission from Schmelzer. The adjuster requested Schmelzer provide the permission. Schmelzer failed to do so and the bills remained unpaid. Schmelzer then filed a bad faith action against Zurich for failure to pay the outstanding balance at Aurora.

LIRC dismissed the bad faith claim noting Schmelzer could not prove either lack of a reasonable basis for the delay or reckless disregard of the lack of a reasonable basis for the delay in paying the bills. LIRC noted this was not a claim for inexcusable delay, but rather a claim for bad faith. LIRC also addressed Zurich’s argument that it had no legal obligation to pay the medical expense unless Schmelzer first paid them herself. LIRC rejected this argument stating the workers compensation statute imposed primary liability for payment of work-related medical expenses on the insurer, not the injured worker, and no reasonable construction of the statute could accept an alteration of that obligation.

 

16.Coppage v. Midwest Labor, wee #2012-007424 (LIRC October 11, 2017)

Surveillance

Coppage sustained an injury on March 9, 2012 when she was drying a car at the car wash. A co-employee drove the car over her foot causing a “right foot crush injury.” Between the date of injury and July 30, 2012 Coppage treated with several different physicians. Her primary physician found she reached an end of healing on July 30, 2012 without any restrictions. The IME doctor also found the end of healing had been reached with no need for further treatment or permanent physical limitations. In 2013 Coppage saw Dr. Holz who authored a WKC-16B in February of 2015 stating Coppage sustained Complex Regional Pain Syndrome of the right lower extremity and found a 5% permanent partial disability.

Surveillance was conducted in June and July of 2012 showing inconsistent use of assistive devices by Coppage and a limp that would come and go. LIRC determined the surveillance undermined the permanent disability claim. Further, LIRC noted the treating physician and the IME physician agreed the complaints of pain were out of proportion to the objective medical evidence. Finally, LIRC noted even though Coppage was in possession of the surveillance videos in July of 2013, she didn’t bother to show them to Dr. Holz. LIRC relied upon the physicians who had seen the surveillance to deny permanent disability.

 

17.Adamowicz v. Old Carco, LLC, wee #2005-018339 (LIRC October 19, 2017)

Issue Preclusion and Post-Retirement TTD

LIRC’s initial decision was discussed at the seminar in August. LIRC precluded the employer/respondent from re-litigating the issue of permanent disability as that issue had been decided by a prior Order. In its second Order, LIRC reevaluated the issue of whether Adamowicz was entitled to temporary disability benefits. The original injury occurred in 2002 and Adamowicz had a total knee replacement surgery in 2015. Initially LIRC awarded temporary disability, permanent disability and medical expenses for the total replacement. However, LIRC reversed its own decision on temporary disability benefits.

LIRC denied temporary disability benefits finding the retirement from active employment in 2014 precluded an award of temporary disability benefits. LIRC noted that Adamowicz worked for a period of time as a hunting guide, both for a specific employer and on his own. However, noting his pheasant hunting was a lifelong hobby, LIRC concluded this was not evidence of an intent to remain part of the labor market, but rather Adamowicz’s pursuit of his passion.

 

18.Kadlec v. Don Johnson’s Hayward Motors, WCC #2013-020253 (LIRC Dec. 15, 2017)

Doctrine of Issue Preclusion

Kadlec sustained a compensable work-related injury on October 5, 2012. An initial hearing was held on December 3, 2014 addressing the nature and extent of disability and liability for medical expense. The ALJ’s Order of December 19, 2014 awarded permanent disability and ended medical expenses. LIRC in its Order on the appeal brought by Kadlec affirmed the findings made by the ALJ and no further appeal was taken by Kadlec.

Kadlec filed a new Application in August of 2016 asserting she was permanently and totally disabled as the result of the October 5, 2012 injury. LIRC found the underpinnings for Kadlec’s claim for permanent and total disability were the same as those decided by the prior Order. LIRC utilized the Doctrine of Issue Preclusion to dismiss the second Application as it was based on the same issues which had been previously litigated.

 

19.Mesenbrink v. Kenan Advantage Group, WCC#2014-003291 (LIRC Oct. 19, 2017)

Timing of WKC-16B’s

Mesenbrink sustained a traumatic head injury in the course of his employment as a truck driver, but he returned to work the next day. He later reported the onset of headaches when he was exerting himself. By the summer of 2014 Mesenbrink was reporting headaches of fluctuating intensity, photophobia, severe ringing in his ears and neck pain. The treating physician attempted Botox injections which did not help the headache symptoms. In March of 2015 the treating physician authored a final WKC-16B stating a 30% permanent partial disability caused by the headaches, concentration deficits, and post-concussive syndrome.

Dr. Novom performed two IME’s; one in November of 2014 and a second on March 23, 2016. By the time of the second IME, Mesenbrink was reporting the severity of the headaches on a scale of 1-10 at 1 and neck pain at 0. Dr. Novom found no permanent disability attributable to the work injury.

Mesenbrink had several underlying non-work-related health conditions. He had lung cancer resulting in chest surgery, respiratory failure, hypoxemia, tachycardia and the onset of congestive heart failure. While he claimed to be permanently and totally disabled due to the work injury, LIRC found no permanent residuals from the work injury. LIRC stated that Mr. Mesenbrink was probably permanently and totally disabled, but it wasn’t because of a post-concussion syndrome. LIRC relied heavily upon Dr. Novom’s March, 2016 IME report, which was a year after the treating physician rated a 30% permanent disability.

 

  1. Lock v. School Dist of Mequon Thiensville, wee#2015-014848 (LIRe Nov. 28, 2017)

No Magic Language

Lock claimed an injury to her right knee when she crouched down to quietly exit the room where a play was taking place, put on by her students. She described a hot searing pain with a popping in the back and side of her knee. She was diagnosed with a meniscal tear by MRI done shortly after the incident and had knee surgery in the summer of 2015. The claim was denied based on an IME which stated the presence of arthritic changes in the knee were more likely the cause of the meniscal tear than the crouched walking.

LIRC affirmed the finding made by the ALJ that Lock sustained a traumatic work­related injury to her right knee when she crouched down and left the room where the play was being held. LIRC found the treating physician’s opinion was more credible than the IME opinion. LIRC rejected the argument that the use of the phrase “I clearly feel that she had an acute injury at work” was insufficient to express a credible medical opinion.

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  1. Raasch v. Oneida Erecting, Inc., wee #2015-028373 (LIRe October 19, 2017)

Occupational Hearing Loss

Raasch retired on December 12, 2012. He asserted hearing loss based on an audiogram performed on August 23, 2013. Respondents denied liability based on the absence of a frequency pattern in the hearing tests compatible with noise exposure. The ALJ awarded benefits and the employer appealed.

On appeal LIRC affirmed the award of benefits. LIRC relied on the Attorney’s Textbook of Medicine for support that the noise induced hearing loss is typically greatest in higher frequencies. While noting the audiogram did not fit the usual noise induced pattern, LIRC found the hearing loss in the higher frequencies supported the conclusion the condition was work-related.

 

  1. Wyrwas v. Arandell Corp., wee #2014-030714 (LIRC November 28, 2017)

Occupational Hearing Loss

Wyrwas worked as a printer of direct mail catalogues from 1988 to 2013. He held a variety of jobs and only about 10 of those years were spent in a noisy area. Dr. Ubell found the exposure was causative in the development of an occupational hearing loss. Dr. Nordstrom, noting that Wyrwas worked mainly in an office area and was not exposed to noise at that time, stated the work was not causative in the development of an occupational hearing loss. The ALJ awarded benefits. LIRC reversed and dismissed the Application.

LIRC found Dr. Ubell’s history of 20 years of noise exposure was not accurate. Because the testimony established that Dr. Ubell’s history was inaccurate, LIRC found his opinion on causation could not be used as a basis for an award of benefits. They found Dr. Ubell’s “misapprehension” of the exposure time was a material misapprehension and therefore undermined the credibility of his opinions.

 

  1. Sebaro v. Marinette Marine Corp., WCC #2015-025387 (LIRC December 15, 2017)

Occupational Hearing Loss

Sebaro worked as a welder for the employer from 197 4 through 2015. During his first few years of employment, he used cotton balls as hearing protection, but subsequently went to foam ear plugs. The employer admitted there was exposure to noise in the workplace. The treating physician found that noise was causative in the development of Sebaro’s bilateral hearing loss. The employer submitted a records review finding the audiometric testing was inconsistent with noise-induced hearing loss. The ALJ awarded benefits based on a 2017 audiogram. LIRC affirmed in part and reversed in part.

LIRC discarded portions of records review being inconsistent. LIRC concluded the proper audiometric test for calculation of disability benefits was administered in 2015, not 2017, as it was closer to the end of employment. The employer argued that only one ear should be compensable. LIRC discarded that argument finding that although there may have been a dramatic increase in hearing loss in one ear, that was not proof of the absence of noise induced hearing loss.

 

  1. Neitzke v. Miron Const Co, Inc., wee #2013-003481 (LIRC December 15, 2017)

Wrongful Refusal to Rehire

Neitzke worked as a general laborer out of Laborer’s Local 113. He sustained a shoulder injury on August 15, 2012. He returned to light duty work which ended on November 10, 2012. On December 12, 2012 he was released without restrictions and advised the employer of his release. The employer did not bring him back to work. Neitzke made a claim for wrongful refusal to rehire.

Neitzke argued the employer hired other employees to work after December 12, 2012, but they didn’t hire him. The employer argued they received their employees through the Union halls. LIRC denied benefits finding that although Neitzke had established the existence of a compensable work-related injury and a failure to rehire, he could not demonstrate the basis for not bringing him back to work was his work-related injury. LIRC reasoned the employer would have to alter its hiring practices and specifically ask for Neitzke when contacting the Union hall. Since the employer’s hiring practice was to hire out of the Union hall, and the hall did not assign workers on a request basis, Neitzke could not demonstrate the employer’s hiring practices discriminated against him for making a workers compensation claim.

 

  1. Williams v. Manpower, Inc., wee #2014-003536 (LIRC December 15, 2017)

Occupational versus Traumatic

Williams claimed an occupational disease of the cervical spine arising out of the job assignments during his employment with Manpower. There was a history of prior neck complaints with radiculopathy. However, in October of 2013 Williams claimed to have injured his spine when unloading a truck. When first seen in the emergency room in October of 2013 he denied any history of neck or shoulder problems. MRI scans demonstrated severe foraminal narrowing and a 2-level cervical fusion was performed in 2014. The treating physician opined the October 2013 incident precipitated, aggravated and accelerated a preexisting degenerative process in the neck. However, the opinion was expressed by checking a box on the WKC-16B and referring to the clinic notes which did not describe, with any detail, the basis for the opinion.

LIRC denied benefits relying upon the description provided by the IME physician of why the condition was not aggravated by the events of October 2013. The IME physician stated the events in 2013 were not significant enough to cause any structural impact or injury to the cervical spine.

  1. Kasarsky v. Aurora Health Care, wee #2014-028038 (LIRC January 12, 2018)

Prospective Orders

Kasarsky sustained a compensable foot injury. She claimed the use of a boot on her foot caused an injury to her hip on the opposite side. She sought an Order from the Division requiring the workers compensation carrier to pay for hip surgery. The Administrative Law Judge denied the claim for a prospective award of benefits, but retained jurisdiction in case Kasarsky could prove after the hip surgery that it was causally related to her foot injury.

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