Monday, May 5, 2014

Employer found directly liable for $24,000 award

 The employer's carrier became insolvent and the Commission found the employer directly liable pursuant to 287.300 because the employer  had too many assets to qualify for coverage under MIGA, the guarantee fund for insolvent carriers. 

Claimant alleged two injuries and asserted he was unemployable.  His claim was confounded by inconsistencies, poor histories, and the failure to identify a precipitating event as the cause of his second "accident."  He initially  fell from a 6-foot stepladder in 2002.  He fractured some ribs and caused a pneumothorax and a chronic pain syndrome.   Claimant failed to prove a sustained a second accident when he claims he experienced a sudden onset of symptoms sitting at work without any clear precipitating event.  "Claimant was looking at a computer with a co-worker when he felt a very severe pain in his head and neck and felt that the left side of his face was paralyzed and also felt pain and weakness on the left side of his body."  He ultimately underwent surgery for a herniated cervical disc. Roberts v Charter Communications, 2014 Mo WCLR Lexis 157.

ALJ Dierkes attributed partial disability for claimant's pain complaints but noted they were "grossly inordinate to his injuries," and that "there is a significant component psychologically in terms of the presentation".  The employer's expert indicated  there was "somatic reactivity and is likely to report subjective physical complaints well beyond those which can be physically or objectively confirmed, and that Claimant is prone to using his physical complaints to manipulate others and to control situations."

Atty:  Brown, Willer
Expert:  Dr. Koprivica , Dr. Pro, Dr. Stillings, Dr. Cantrell
Treater Dr. Oro, Burger