I&F Prevails in IL Claim as Petitioner’s Bilateral Carpal Tunnel Held Unrelated to Work Duties
I&F recently prevailed in a trial over the disputed issue of the Petitioner’s bilateral carpal tunnel conditions. The Petitioner alleged that her diagnoses and surgeries were due to repetitive trauma from her work as an English Teacher. The petitioner testified that her duties during the school day required her to use her hands for attendance, grades, e-mail and for her teaching of the students during the course of the day. She also testified that she typically stayed 3 hours after school and worked almost every weekend from home, creating 1,920 lesson plans on her computer from 2007 until her retirement in 2015.
The Petitioner’s surgeon testified that these job duties and regular computer use had caused or aggravated her bilateral carpal tunnel conditions; however, the very limited extent of his knowledge regarding the Petitioner’s job duties was brought to light through diligent cross-examination.
The Arbitrator found the Respondent’s expert witness and IME physician to be much more credible, knowledgeable, and convincing. In his direct and redirect testimony, the Respondent’s IME physician was able to clearly and succinctly explain his detailed knowledge of the Petitioner’s job duties and the nature of her typing. Based on the contrasting testimony of the two expert witnesses, the Arbitrator found that there was no causal relationship between the petitioner’s bilateral carpal tunnel and her work duties.
The key to the excellent result in this case was being able to attack the underlying foundation for the opinions of the Petitioner’s expert medical witness, while simultaneously ensuring that the Respondent’s expert witness was provided with thorough and detailed facts regarding the specifics of what the Petitioner’s job duties entailed.
Congratulations to attorney Michael Bantz for this excellent result.