In a case recently tried by Partner Colin Mills, the Arbitrator found that Petitioner failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that she sustained accidental injuries to her bilateral hands due to repetitive work activities that arose out of and in the course of her employment with Respondent. As such, Petitioner’s claim for medical benefits, temporary total disability benefits, and permanent partial disability benefits was denied.
In support of her decision, the Arbitrator first found that Petitioner’s alleged “manifestation dates” did not correlate with the medical evidence introduced at trial. Further, the Arbitrator found that the opinions of Respondent’s Section 12 Examiner were more credible than those of the treating physician, as the Section 12 Examiner was better prepared and more informed to opine on the causal relationship of Petitioner’s job duties to her condition. Specifically, the Arbitrator noted the importance of the fact that the Section 12 Examiner was provided with a job video analysis and written job description on which to base his causation opinions. Conversely, on cross-examination, Petitioner’s treating physician was only able to testify that he had a vague idea of Petitioner’s job duties, and that his opinions were not based on a thorough understanding of Petitioner’s job duties.
This excellent result netted a significant savings for Respondent, and reflects the importance of thorough expert witness preparation.