Take Nothing Issues On Successful Post-Termination Defense

The Applicant filed a continuous trauma claim against his employer where he worked as a maintenance technician. Prior to the application, the Applicant was terminated for cause. He subsequently filed the claim alleging an injury to his knees, legs, shoulders, hands, and neck over a one-year period.

The Applicant had four prior workers compensation claims. Two claims came nearly fifteen years prior where he alleged injuries to his neck, back, psych, upper extremities, and shoulders. The remaining prior claims were against the same employer as the present case—a specific claim that came six years prior alleging an injury to his ankle, feet, and psych and a continuous trauma claim from three years prior where the Applicant alleged an injury to his neck, back, lower extremities, ankle, and feet. All prior claims were resolved.

Discovery commenced and the Applicant was examined by a Panel Qualified Medical Examiner. In his report, the examiner apportioned 100% of the impairment to the natural progression of the Applicant’s pre-existing degenerative conditions and 0% to the alleged industrial injury. Following the Applicant’s Attorney’s objection of the report the examiner was deposed. At the deposition, the examiner maintained that after considering the job duties and history of complaints there was 0% impairment attributable to the industrial duties. The examiner furthered that the Applicant described no continuous trauma in his description of complaints.

The matter proceeded to trial where we used the Panel Qualified Medical Examiner’s report and the affirmative defense of California Labor Code Section 3600(a)(10) to deny that the Applicant sustained any injury during the course and scope of his employment during the alleged period. Additionally, we submitted as exhibits copies of Applicant’s prior settlement documents. The Applicant testified that he has not been able to work since being terminated from our client’s employment and that his injuries have progressed. Our questioning highlighted that the Applicant continued to perform all his duties during the alleged injury period and did not miss any time from work because of the alleged injury. Further, our questioning revealed that the Applicant did not see a doctor until he did so at the request of his attorney.

The matter was submitted for decision and the Judge issued a Take Nothing Award in favor for the Defendant.   

Leave a Reply