Beware Disruptive Children and Children with Chairs!

In a pair of cases wherein an employee of a children’s educational center allegedly sustained to accidental injuries to her spine, Partner Steve Murdock of our office disproved both claims resulting in a pair of “no liability” decisions for our client.

In the first, the claimant claimed she injured her cervical spine when a disruptive child yanked on a lanyard around the claimant’s neck.  However, the lanyard was a “break away” lanyard, and the medical history did not coincide with the claimed date of the incident.  The arbitrator found the claimant failed so produce credible evidence of a compensable accident and denied the claim.

In the second claim, the petitioner alleged she was injured when a child struck her in the back with a chair.  Little did she realize that credible witnesses from the employer would show that the chair in question was a five-pound, hollow, plastic chair wielded by a 50-pound 7-year old child, who merely bumped the petitioner in the back as the child passed the claimant.  The arbitrator found the claimant’s testimony that her back was injured to the point of requiring a lumbar fusion to be not credible and found that the evidence was insufficient to establish a causal connection between the alleged accident and the lumbar fusion.  That claim was also denied on all issues.  A Petition for Review was not filed.

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