Attorney Michael Bantz obtained a trial victory in a case involving a disputed fall. The claimant, a home healthcare worker, alleged that she fell in a defective depression in the employer’s parking lot. However, the employer’s investigation into the accident revealed contrary evidence.
One witness, a coworker, saw the claimant fall on the public sidewalk next to the parking lot. Furthermore, this witness noticed, as the claimant got up and immediately after, that the claimant seemed to be having a diabetic episode. The claimant also later admitted to a different coworker that she was suffering a diabetic episode at the time, which was actually the reason for why she fell. The claimant’s husband, who also knew this witness socially, also confirmed that it was a diabetic episode that had caused the fall. This witness also gave a recorded statement on these issues in the time period following the claimant’s falling incident.
The petitioner’s medical history and records were thoroughly investigated; those records exposed that the claimant had, in fact, had great difficulty managing her diabetic condition. The claimant had unfortunately had a great number of diabetic episodes surrounding the time of the accident, both before and after. Many of these low blood sugar incidents involved the claimant falling, passing out, or injuring herself.
At trial these evidentiary issues combined to prove the claimant’s idiopathic illness was the actual cause of her accident, in spite of her testimony otherwise. Idiopathic falls at work, which occur from a personal risk, are not compensable. Personal risks, such as personal defects, weakness, and confrontations with personal enemies, typically do not arise out of a claimant’s employment. Accordingly, all benefits were denied.
The key to this litigation win was a prompt and thorough investigation of the accident, which led to the critical witnesses involved and the immediate documentation of what they witnessed. A comprehensive and detailed examination of the claimant’s medical records was also crucial in obtaining evidence that was central to the defense of this case. As is often the case, investigation and documentation was essential to a strong defense! Congratulations to Michael for this successful outcome!