Friday, August 18, 2017

Soccer ball to head causes multiple injuries

The Commission affirmed a PTD award against SIF, and concluded subsequent part-time employment did not preclude an award for total disability.  Hull v Dr. Pepper   08-117368  8/15/2017

The Commission found that claimant's capacity to work part-time in a highly accommodated work environment did not constitute substantial gainful employment. 

Claimant alleges as a result of the primary injury he was hit in the head with a soccer ball.  He had a long history of concussions from playing hockey.  He claims he also sustained injuries to his neck and both knees.  A defense expert concluded his condition in part arose from somatoform disorder.

ALJ Carlisle
Atty:  Meyers, Toepke
Experts:  Liss, Volarich, Gonzales

Commission affirms PTD for hernia repair

Claimant injured his left groin while turning a valve in 2010.  He claims he developed nerve entrapment after a hernia repair and became depressed. He was released to return to work without restrictions.  Adams v City of Kansas City  Inj.  10-067514  8/15/2017

The ALJ awarded PTD benefits based on vocational testimony that claimant could not tolerate work because he was in too much pain and had to lie down during the day and that he required pain medication.  He was advised by his expert that he needed a spinal cord stimulator.   The ALJ awarded future medical but noted that future medical was not identified as a stipulated issue.

On appeal, the Commission found that evidence supported an award of open medical, that the employee made it an issue in the course of the hearing when the ALJ asked whether he wanted to consider it. The Commission notes the defense did not object or preserve error on appeal that the ALJ may have exceeded his authority. 

The Commission found no expert opinion was necessary to show that use of pain relieving medication was reasonable to alleviate symptoms of pain nor was there express expert opinion that the continued use of such medication was not necessary. 

ALJ:  Rebman
Atty:  Wickersham
Experts:  Parmet, Titterington, Wheeler

Friday, August 4, 2017

Commission enhances PPD award for multi-knee surgery case

A 62-year old teacher fell in 2013 and ultimately underwent multiple knee  surgeries and required future medical treatment including TKR  related to chondromalacia and end-stage arthritis.  The Commission nearly doubled the award for permanent partial disability.  Simpson v Columbia College, 2017 MOWCLR LEXIS ___ (July 28, 2017) (13-069045).

The Commission modified the PPD award from 22.5% to 40% and rejected the defense that her need for TKR flowed from arthritis and not the work injury.   Claimant's chondromalacia was staged from grade 1 to grade 3 in the course of her care for the work injury. 

The employee alleged the employer denied injections recommended by its own doctor and delayed to obtain  a medical opinion to support its denial for nearly a year.  The ALJ found that the employer's denial was not persuasive but was reasonable based on medical expert opinion.  The ALJ denied the motion for fees for the cost of the treating physician to testify live at the hearing about causation and the need for disputed injections. 


ALJ  Zerrer
Atty: McDuffy, Friel
Experts:  Volarich, Leslie, Marr