Entire Claim Denied After a Positive Drug Test
The injured worker was denied all benefits after he hurt his shoulder while working as a carpenter. The denial was based on a urine drug test taken after the accident which was positive for the use of marijuana. After the Workers’ Compensation Judge heard the evidence at trial, Olivia obtained a completely favorable ruling for her client which included an award of both lost wages and medical care.
House v. Acline HR/Broadpsire
Claim for Lost Wages Denied Based on Alleged Misconduct
The injured worker was denied lost wage benefits while she was undergoing treatment for her shoulder and neck injuries. The Employer/Carrier claimed that she had violated rules at work while she continued to work for the employer after the accident. Lost wages were denied based on the alleged “misconduct” and rule violations. After a trial, the Workers’ Compensation Judge agreed with the Employer/Carrier’s position and denied the claimed lost wage benefits. Olivia challenged this denial with an appeal. The First District Court of Appeal ruled in Olivia’s client favor and determined that the trial judge was wrong in his rulings on admissible evidence. The matter was sent back to the trial judge for more proceedings. The case then settled before the new trial for an amount which reflected the lost wages which had previously been denied.
Hauser v. Goodwill Industries of SW Florida, Inc.
Entire Claim Denied on The Basis of “no Accident in The Course and Scope of Employment”
The injured worker was denied all benefits when the Employer/Carrier denied that an accident occurred at work. The Workers’ Compensation Judge determined that the accident did occur as the injured worker had alleged. The Employer/Carrier took an alternative position arguing that if the Judge found that an accident did happen at work, the injuries were pre-existing and not covered under Workers’ Compensation. The Judge disagreed and ruled that the Major Contributing Cause of the injured worker’s need for medical treatment and his need for disability was the work accident.
Perez v. School District of Indian River County
Claim for Knee Replacement Surgery Denied Based on Major Contributing Cause
The injured worker hurt his knee at work and initially received appropriate medical treatment from the Employer/Carrier. Several years later, the treating doctor recommended a total knee replacement. The Employer/Carrier denied this surgery alleging that the need for the knee replacement surgery was because of arthritis and degenerative changes, and not related to the work accident. This is known as a “Major Contributing Cause” defense. After a trial, the Workers’ Compensation Judge ruled that the Employer/Carrier failed to deny responsibility for the surgery within the 120 Day “pay and investigate” period. Olivia was successful in obtaining a favorable ruling for her client which resulted in the Employer/Carrier being responsible for the surgery.
Stephenson v. City of Palm Bay
Lost Wages Denied Based on False Statements by Co-Workers
The injured worker was denied temporary lost wage benefits after she was fired by the Employer for alleged “misconduct” at work following her accident. A trial before the Workers’ Compensation Judge revealed that Olivia’s client was falsely accused by her former employer. Both back lost wage benefits and ongoing lost wage benefits were awarded by the Judge.
Sams v. Family Dollar
Medical Benefits Denied for Conditions Caused by The Accident
The injured worker fell and sustained injuries to his face and head. The Employer/Carrier agreed to be responsible for only the injuries which were apparent on the day of the accident. The injured worker later developed a subdural hematoma (blood on his brain) from striking his head on the day of his accident, which, in turn, caused a life-threatening stroke and a pulmonary embolism. The Employer/Carrier denied all responsibility for these serious medical conditions. On the eve of trial, the Employer/Carrier reversed their position and agreed that they were responsible for providing treatment for the medical conditions previously denied.
Randolph v. Oyster Bay/Pointe Condominiums
Permanent Total Disability Benefits Not Timely Paid
The injured worker was paid temporary lost wage benefits for several years, followed by the payment of impairment benefits. She did not have an attorney when the Employer/Carrier told her that she had “exhausted” her benefits which lead the injured worker to believe that she was not entitled to any additional monetary benefits. After investigation, Olivia was able to secure Permanent Total Disability benefits for the injured worker which will be paid until her 75th birthday.