Amy Pfeiffer recently obtained dismissal of a claim arising from a shoulder injury the plaintiff sustained while unloading drywall into a customer’s pickup truck. Plaintiff’s claim relied on elements of both occupational disease and injury by accident.
Defendants rebutted the injury by accident claim by eliciting testimony from plaintiff at hearing that he was injured as a result of a “sudden event.” In addition, plaintiff’s manager offered testimony showing that plaintiff’s activities at the time of his injury, including the amount of weight he was lifting, were neither unusual for plaintiff nor a departure from his work routine.
Regarding the occupational disease issue, the Deputy Commissioner found that the medical evidence, which consisted of the deposition testimony and medical questionnaire responses of Plaintiff’s treating physician, failed to establish causation between plaintiff’s employment and his shoulder condition, or that his employment placed him at an increased risk of contracting his shoulder condition.
Finally, the Deputy Commissioner also found that plaintiff failed to prove disability, since he had returned to work at his pre-injury job and wage.
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