Zachary Rubinich, a Partner in our Philadelphia, PA office, recently obtained a favorable decision from a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Judge which denied and dismissed a Claim Petition seeking workers’ compensation benefits dating back to 2017.
Mr. Rubinich argued that the medical evidence did not support the allegation that the Claimant suffered acute traumatic injuries to her low back, hips, knees and right ankle from a slip and fall at work. The WCJ accepted the Employer’s medical expert’s opinion that Claimant had low back issues and received treatment in 2016 prior to this incident. The WCJ found Employer’s medical expert’s testimony credible that the medical records and diagnostic studies did not confirm any acute traumatic injuries. Instead, the WCJ credited Employer’s medical expert’s testimony that Claimant’s current complaints were the mere progression of degenerative changes in her lumbar spine and were not related to any trauma based upon his thorough and objectively normal physical examination. The WCJ noted that Claimant’s medical expert did not review the complete medical records or diagnostic studies, which made his opinion that this was a traumatic incident that was caused by an aggravation less persuasive. Also, the WCJ accepted testimony from an employer’s fact witness that full duty work was made available to Claimant after this incident because the Claimant failed to provide an out of work note from a physician. The WCJ specifically rejected Claimant’s allegation that her employment was unjustifiably terminate.
In conclusion, the WCJ accepted Mr. Rubinich’s factual, medical and legal arguments that Claimant did not sustain a disabling injury within the course and scope of her employment with Employer. This was a significant victory for the Employer because it was not responsible for payment of any indemnity (wage loss) benefits or medical benefits dating back to 2017, interest, counsel fees, litigation costs or penalties.