Posted by Gary Burger on April 8, 2019
We recently settled a Workers’ Compensation claim that was a battle from the beginning.
Our client Gregg was a long-time employee of James Mulligan Printing, Co. While lifting a stack of paper to put into a printing press, he felt a pull and tear in his left shoulder.
Ultimately, doctors diagnosed him with bicipital tendinitis and a rotator cuff tear. Gregg required surgery on his shoulder, and missed time from work while recovering.
When Gregg returned to work after his surgery, his Manager moved him to a different printing press that paid him about 60% of his pre-injury wage. This was a form of retaliation, albeit more subtle. We fought it and filed a Hardship requesting full past temporary total disability (“TTD”), or lost wages.
Gregg’s employer refused to pay. We litigated and did depositions. We mediated the hardship and obtained $11,000.00 in compensation for him for changing his job.
Gregg’s employer refused to comply with the Workers’ Compensation law, and would not have paid Gregg this money without the judge’s order.
Greg is reluctant to pursue a civil retaliation claim as he values his job and the bad managers that made this decision have since been fired. We have about three other retaliation claims now where folks have been flat out terminated because of their on-the-job injury.
Here’s a video of Greg and I discussing his claim.
Physicians chosen by James Mulligan Printing Co.’s insurance carrier provided all of Gregg’s medical treatment, but the insurance carrier dramatically undervalued the severity of his injury and his claim.
Gregg’s employer required that he undergo a functional capacity evaluation to determine his restrictions and ability to work. These physical therapists, again chosen by Gregg’s employer, determined that Gregg could handle a “very heavy demand vocation.” Subsequently, they only offered 7.5% disability of the shoulder to settle his claim.
Unwilling to accept such an inadequate offer, we mediated Gregg’s claim in front of an administrative law judge to get her recommended settlement value. The employer’s counsel downplayed Gregg’s injury, whereas we vigorously advocated for Gregg and highlighted how this injury still affects him daily.
The judge recommended a settlement value of 27.5% disability of the shoulder – well above the 7.5% the employer was trying to pay!
When negotiating settlement with opposing counsel, we reiterated how poorly Gregg’s employer treated him, and were able to convince them to offer even more than the judge’s recommendation.
We were pleased to settle Gregg’s claim for 30% disability of the shoulder, which based on his wage rate, came out to $32,334.76. Additionally, we obtained $11,000 in disputed TTD payments, and additional 14 weeks of undisputed TTD payments, and payment of all of his medical bills.
Our client is pleased with our work – it was a long and hard fought case.