Arbitrator Rejects Petitioner’s Claim of Permanent & Total Disability
We are pleased to announce the receipt of a favorable arbitration decision finding that the petitioner failed to prove he was permanently and totally disabled. The petitioner, a pipefitter, injured his right knee and underwent surgery but continued to have problems. He had a second surgery without much improvement. He was eventually released to return back to work with restrictions which could not be accommodated by the insured. Vocational rehabilitation was initiated without success.
After a pre-trial before the Arbitrator, the Respondent agreed to pay for the petitioner to return to school to learn surveying. Schooling issues arose regarding the appropriate program for the petitioner to attend and the petitioner quit school and settlement negotiations ensued without success. Additional job efforts were not successful. Following another pre-trial recommendation , the petitioner returned to school and received a welding certificate. Again, vocational efforts were fruitless and the petitioner claimed he was permanently and totally disabled. Settlement attempts were not successful and the case proceeded to trial. At trial, we argued, using the testimony of our vocational experts, that the petitioner was uncooperative with vocational efforts and the Arbitrator agreed. Prior to trial, the permanent total settlement demand was $500,000 and full payment of a permanent total award over the petitioner’s lifetime exceeded $1 million. Congratulations to veteran attorney Jill Baker for the outstanding result.