The case of Wright v. TG Missouri Corp. was decided by the Missouri Labor and Industrial Commission on January 21, 2016. The Commission decides appeals from workers’ compensation decisions handed down by administrative law judges who hear workmen’s comp trials of the employee against his employer and their workers’ compensation insurance company. Either or both sides can file an appeal.
This case involves an extremely common defense employers, with the help of the company doctors they send their injured workers to be treated by, raise to many if not most of their employees’ workers compensation claims whenever they can. Whenever their employees hurt on the job are shown on x-rays, MRI’s or CT-scans to some form of degenerative, arthritic condition or fraying in the same area that the claim for an accidental work injury was filed on, company doctors the employer or their insurance company sends you to will go out of their to blame any injury cause by a work accident on such pre-existing condition.
It is important to understand that the company-selected doctors your employer or their workmen’s compensation insurance send you to for treatment after you get injured working on the job will bend over backwards to help the company either deny you any benefits for your work injury or to reduce them as much as possible. Their doctor will do that by saying in his medical evaluation report on you either that the main causes of your injuries were pre-existing degeneration or injuries or that even if your work accident was the main cause of your injuries, the workman’s compensation judge should deduct and subtract a large part of your disability benefits for the pre-existing degeneration, such as arthritis or fraying of the injured tissue. In Wright’s case the company doctor, Dr. Chabot, claimed that his disc disease in his lower back was due either to Wright’s having been born with the problem (“genetic”) or suffered the disc disease from spinal degeneration which developed over time after he was born. Either way that would entitle Wright to no workers compensation benefits at all for his disc herniations and tears: no back surgery and no disability money payments.
Mr. Wright was injured while pushing a mold that weighed about 1,000 pounds which slammed into a machine, after which he felt sharp lower back and buttock pain. Wright was found to have disc herniations and bulges at different points of his lumbar spine along with proven tears of the disc. Employer’s Dr. Chabot after examining Wright concluded that he had suffered nothing more than a lower back strain and just flatly blamed Wright’s disc tears, herniations, bulges, and back pain shooting into his legs on disc degeneration that he had either been born with or had from long-term disc degeneration over the years which their doctor said had long been present before the accident. Dr. Chabot made this claim even though Wright was only 36 years old at the time of the accident and had never suffered a previous lower back injury or received any prior treatment for his back in his whole life.
The doctor expert Mr. Wright’s lawyer sent him to who examined him found to the contrary that Wright’s herniated torn disc problems were mainly caused by the accident he suffered when the mold he was pushing smashed into the machine in his employer’s shop. The injured worker’s expert was Dr. Poetz. Dr. Poetz did find that Wright had a small bit of spinal degeneration before the accident. However, Poetz found that the disc tears and the overwhelming majority of the employee’s disability was caused by the accident. He also found that all the treatment Wright had received for his back was made necessary by the injury pushing the mold and had not been caused mainly by any pre-existing spinal defects from birth or degeneration. The administrative law judge who heard the case believed employer’s expert Dr. Chabot over employee’s expert Dr. Poetz on the issue of causation and found for the employee.
This case just goes to show that if a worker injured on the job chooses to accept the opinion of the company-selected expert your employer or their workmen’s compensation insurance company sends you to, you will almost always lose and be denied full benefits or maybe even all workers compensation benefits. If you hire an attorney your attorney could send you to a doctor expert for your own side who will likely support your side and oppose the company doctors’ opinions. Even when the company finally sends you out to a doctor for treatment, the doctors they choose for treatment will do everything they can to deny or minimize your injuries.
As in Wright’s case they will usually go out of their way to blame any work injuries on pre-existing degeneration (like arthritis) or previous injuries they can find. A good, experienced hard-fighting workers compensation attorney can gather up all the medical treatment records and send the injured worker out for an evaluation by medical experts who will work in the employee’s interests and enable the injured worker to prove his case to a workmen’s compensation judge. If you get hurt on the job in the course of your work for an employer you need to go consult and then hire a good attorney to fight for and enforce your rights to workers compensation benefits the company denies you. A good lawyer can keep on fighting for you until you win.
St. Louis Workers Compensation Center will be glad to represent you on your workman’s compensation claim and fight to get your benefits denied or underpaid by the company. We will go anywhere in the eastern and central Missouri area to fight your case. That includes a lot of cities and counties.
St. Louis Workers Compensation Center can defend your rights to workers compensation benefits and demand treatment and money benefits. They can help you fight to enforce your legal rights to benefits. They can fight to keep the company from cancelling or underpaying your benefits and to get you the full benefits you deserve. Please call Tom Hyatt for advice and assistance on any work-related injury suffered on the job in either St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Franklin County, St. Charles County, Warren County, Lincoln County, Jefferson County, or any other counties in eastern Missouri within 125 miles of the greater St. Louis metropolitan area.
That includes a lot of towns and cities from the City of St. Louis; Kirkwood, Florissant, Hazelwood, Maryland Heights, Jennings, University City, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Fenton, Valley Park, Sunset Hills, Ballwin, Manchester, Eureka, Chesterfield and Sunset Hills in St. Louis County; St. Charles, Wentzville, St. Peters, O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Cottleville, Weldon Springs, Foristell, Harvester and Defiance in St. Charles County; Union, Washington, St. Clair, Pacific, Sullivan and Gray Summit in Franklin County; Troy, Moscow Mills, Winfield, Foley, Elsberry, Hawk Point, Old Monroe and Truxton in Lincoln County; and Arnold, Hillsboro, Festus, Pevely, Imperial, Herculaneum, DeSoto, Cedar Hill, High Ridge and House Springs in Jefferson County; as well as many other towns and cities in the counties listed above and all other counties in eastern and central Missouri.
Our consultations are completely free of charge. Tom Hyatt will talk to you about your case right away. He will fight as hard he can to enforce all of your rights to Missouri workers compensation benefits. Our attorney’s fee would be a modest percentage of the Missouri workers’ comp disability benefits we get for you. Please call now for a free consultation. (See Contact Us).