If the act of bending over to perform a task is a risk distinctly associated with your job duties, and doing so leads to an injury, you could have a winning workers’ comp case!
Here’s a look at a recent hard-fought case with this issue:
- Mark Mytnik worked at Ford Motor Company on the assembly line since 1994.
- May 21, 2009: He was working the “moon buggy” job installing rear suspensions.
- Duties for this included: twisting and turning to grab bolts and brackets, lifting 20 to 25 boxes of heavy parts per day, and sometimes rushing to pick up bolts that had fallen out of the articulating arm.
- On that day, after about 4 hours of work, he noticed his back was starting to bother him.
- He continued to work, but later, while reaching down to retrieve a bolt, he felt sharp pain down his right side.
- Eventually, he was diagnosed with a herniated disc in his back at L4-5, and a small herniation or annular bulging at L5-S1.
- August 4, 2009: He had surgeries on these injuries by an ortho spine doctor.
- March 1, 2010: His treating doctor declared him at MMI (maximum medical improvement), and released him to return to work with a permanent 25 pound lifting restriction.
Sadly, that was not the end of his suffering. He returned to work and hurt himself again, and had to stop due to pain and problems standing, twisting, or bending for very long.
He saw another doctor, who suggested pain medication and physical therapy, along with a functional capacity evaluation (FCE).
Ford Motor Company’s attorneys predictably sent him to two “independent” medical exams, to get the opinions they wanted to fight the case.
This case took 7 years of work in court!
In the end, the Appellate Court ruled in favor of the injured worker, mainly because:
- Evidence demonstrated that the injury arose from his employment, and
- Record did not support finding that the injury was the result of a preexisting injury.
Do you have a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim? Contact us at Peter D. Corti Law Group! We will give you a free and confidential consultation and answers to your questions.
Back Injury, Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE), Independent Medical Exam (IME), Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)